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

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13

SHAKING AN OYSTER OFF A ROCK

The only example of “perfection” he knew was La Carelle, Riboud said one day while walking in the woods there. At La Carelle he said he could live, and die, comfortably. As he sloshed over winding muddy trails, Riboud spoke of one day retiring from Schlumberger, where he had worked most of his adult life. He spoke with a mixture of pride and dissatisfaction that has, over the years, become a trademark. “You know what I think of the future of the next thirty years of Schlumberger?” he said. “I go from one extreme to the other. I don’t know how we could miss—there’s no way we could miss. We have the right business. A fool could replace Riboud and he couldn’t even miss … I go to that extreme and to the other extreme, ...

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