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Billy, Alfred, and General Motors by William Pelfrey

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CHAPTER FOURTEEN

Alfred Pulls the Ranks Together

From the year 1921 until Sloan’s retirement in 1956, General Motors’ growth was unparalleled and virtually uninterrupted, even during the Great Depression. In his letters to stockholders, Sloan even referred to General Motors as an institution rather than a company.

The institution’s culture was one of methodical, logical, results-oriented teamwork and accountability: a culture typified by the way Sloan and his private research/writing team structured My Years with General Motors, which became the bible not only for the General Motors team but thousands of companies and thousands more would-be CEOs. The book was written as a management primer rather than a memoir or history (despite the misleading ...

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