Albert J. Dunlap
Mean Business
Illustration by Steve Brodner,

I wrote Mean Business with Al Dunlap in 1996. With all the really bad CEOs who have come and gone in the last dozen years since publication, I was surprised Portfolio put Al in a group of “The 20 Worst CEOs.” People forget that he was called “Chainsaw Al” because he was always hired to bring out-of-control conglomerates back to their basics and recover shareholder value. And that’s exactly what he did, every time out but the last. I know he could be a hard guy to like, but the same reporters that throws stones at him in retirement were sucking up to him before Sunbeam. And you’d be surprised how many people still swear by the four basic tenets of Mean Business.

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