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The Art of Corporate Success: The Story of Schlumberger by Ken Auletta

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1

THE QUIET GIANT

From the windows of Jean Riboud’s New York office, on the forty-fourth floor at 277 Park Avenue, one can see the buildings that house the headquarters of such corporate giants as Warner Communications, Gulf + Western, Citicorp, International Telephone and Telegraph, Colgate-Palmolive, United Brands, Bankers Trust, CBS, RCA, and International Paper. All of them are better known than Schlumberger Limited, the company that Riboud is chairman and chief executive officer of, but none of them can match Schlumberger’s profits. In stock-market value—the number of outstanding shares multiplied by the price per share—only three companies were worth more than Schlumberger at the end of 1981. They were AT & T ($48 billion), IBM ($34 billion), ...

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