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Billy, Alfred, and General Motors by William Pelfrey

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INTRODUCTION

WHAT THEY WROUGHT

They were opposites in all respects. William C. (Billy) Durant, the high school dropout, was the flamboyant dreamer and gambler, focused on personal relationships and risk. Alfred P. Sloan, Jr., the MIT engineer, was the stern organizer and manager, focused on data and logic (not to mention profit). Billy managed to create General Motors in bold defiance of the industrial and financial powers of his day. Alfred went on to transform it into the largest and most successful enterprise the world had ever seen. Today, for better or worse, executives and employees all over the globe, in all kinds of businesses, are dealing with the effects of precedents set in motion by what these two men wrought in the first half of ...

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