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How I Did It: Lessons from the Front Lines of Business by Daniel McGinn, Harvard Business Review

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Rohm and Haas’s Former CEO on Pulling Off a Sweet Deal in a Down Market

by Raj Gupta

Raj Gupta, the retired chairman and CEO of Rohm and Haas, serves on the boards of Hewlett-Packard, The Vanguard Group, Tyco International, and Delphi Automotive. He is a senior adviser to New Mountain Capital.

THE IDEA

The sale of Rohm and Haas to the giant Dow Chemical was forged at a premium price in July 2008. The transaction was unconditional. But then the financial markets crashed. Here’s how Rohm and Haas’s CEO kept the deal alive.

Shortly before Christmas 2008, I left my office at the specialty chemicals company Rohm and Haas for what I thought would be the last time. I had spent much of the year leading up to my long-planned retirement orchestrating ...

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