The ITT Wars
The ITT Wars
THE ITT WARS is a startling account of American business by an executive-suite insider, the CEO of a major American corporation. It is also the story of greed and hostile takeovers that signals a wrong turning for corporate and financial America in today's global economy.
Om 1980, the author took command of the greatest agglomeration of businesses ever gathered under one corporate tent. Almost immediately thereafter a changed business climate required a strategic change for ITT: Interest rates were up and company debt was consuming half its capital; the trick was to transform a late a960s behemoth into a sleek service and technology company during the last decades of the century. Ironically, as the company's treasury improved---sixty-nine companies were sold, raising some $2 billion in four years---the corporate giant became an attractive takeover target to Jay Pritzker, Irwin Jacobs, and others emboldened by junk bonds and other financial instruments new to the raider's arsenal. Meanwhile, the rules and values governing American business were changing: with a minimum of government regulation during the 1980s, some of America's finest large corporations were being "leveraged" out of existence. Bottom-line figures, however short term, had replaced product superiority and innovations as the criteria for measuring a company's value. THE ITT WARS offers an authoritative account of one CEO's trial by fire and the defense of the company in one of the biggest and most remarkable takeover battles of the decade. Along the way we learn how business is conducted in high places and why the American economy is often the ultimate loser in hostile takeovers.