He Pours Gas On The Fire

Can Joe Galli's super-intensity turn VerticalNet into a raging Internet success?

Joseph Galli Jr. sure knows how to work a crowd. Back in 1992, he gathered the Black & Decker Corp. (BDK) sales team in Florida to launch the new line of DeWalt professional power tools. Dressed in a bright yellow DeWalt shirt, he roamed a hotel stage with his microphone, ticking off five vital customers who had agreed to carry the products: Home Depot (HD), Lowe's (LOW), HomeBase (HBI), Hardware Wholesalers, and Ace Hardware. That triggered a hearty round of applause. Then he listed a further five. More applause. And another five. He ultimately rattled off 110 customers-all from memory, recalls Charles M. Brown, a former Black & Decker executive who is now president of Aqua Glass Corp. "By then," he says, "it was a feeding frenzy."

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