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

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3

THE PATH TO THE TOP

For eighteen years, Riboud has ruled Schlumberger, in the words of one company executive, “like an absolutely constitutional monarch.” Felix Rohatyn says, “He is the absolute, unquestioned boss in the company. His authority is as absolute as that of any chief executive I’ve seen.” When Riboud speaks of Schlumberger, he often does so in the first person singular. Explaining, for example, Schlumberger’s 1979 acquisition of the Fairchild Camera & Instrument Corporation, he says, “It seemed to me …” Although he is not a Schlumberger, his authority within the family is comparable to that of Conrad or Marcel. “He has the unanimity of the family behind him,” according to Dominique de Ménil, who is now seventy-five and is a close ...

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