Daniel McGinn

Stories by Daniel McGinn

  • 'THE PRESIDENT ON LINE 1'

    When NEWSWEEK last sat down with Jack Welch, in December 2000, he'd just picked Jeff Immelt as his successor, and the U.S. Supreme Court had just cemented George W. Bush's presidential victory. At one point, Welch interrupted the interview to take a call from the president-elect. In an interview this month, Welch told NEWSWEEK's Daniel McGinn what they discussed--and why he didn't think an affair would cost Suzy her job. Edited excerpts:Did the president talk to you about a cabinet post?I've had opportunities to be considered.You weren't interested?They're brutally hard jobs. You have to understand, the reason CEOs don't often make great cabinet officers is they've been the chief executive for the last, in my case, 21 years. Going to be a staff man for somebody else's policies is not something that appeals to me in any way, shape or form.You were approached last year to run Coca-Cola. Have you ruled out becoming a CEO again?Absolutely positive.The recent firing of Boeing's CEO...
  • BUILDING A BETTER CEO

    During normal times, serving as the chief executive of a big company is an enviable position: interesting work, rich pay and a corporate jet at the ready. During recent weeks, however, CEOs have been nearly as embattled as suspiciously muscled baseball players. Consider the news last week from America's boardrooms. Disney boss Michael Eisner, who'd already been pushed by opponents to schedule his early-retirement party for September 2006, agreed to depart a year earlier to make way for his successor, Robert Iger. At insurance giant AIG, founder Maurice Greenberg resigned under pressure from both his board and New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, whose office is investigating AIG. And then there's Bernie Ebbers, the former CEO found guilty on nine counts by a federal jury for the looting of WorldCom. Eisner and Greenberg look downright lucky compared with Ebbers, who faces up to 85 years in prison.Throughout Corporate America, CEOs are being booted faster than off-key singers on ...
  • THE GREEN MACHINE

    Annual meetings can be a dangerous place for chief executives. You never know when a Michael Moore-style protester will grab the microphone and start heckling. If that happens, the standard procedure is for the boss to listen respectfully, avoid engaging and hope the protester runs out of hot air quickly. But John Mackey doesn't believe in the traditional rules of business. At the 2003 shareholders' meeting of Whole Foods Market, of which Mackey is cofounder and CEO, animal-welfare activist Lauren Ornelas lambasted Mackey for selling meat from ducks that were raised in what she considers cruel conditions. Instead of giving her the textbook brushoff, Mackey offered his e-mail address. They corresponded for a few weeks, but stopped when the debate failed to sway either of them. Six months later Ornelas opened her in box to find a new e-mail from Mackey. After talking with her, he'd read a dozen books on animal welfare, he wrote, and eventually decided Ornelas was right. He'd become a...
  • GENDER: FORMULA FOR SUCCESS

    During Harvard president Larry Summers's now infamous talk, he sparked a firestorm by arguing that biology might be a factor in holding women back in their science and engineering careers. But he also offered a subtler argument: that if many universities were really discriminating against women, some other savvy school would be scooping up those promising female scientists. In the Q&A session that followed, one participant challenged him: "The chemistry department at Rutgers is doing that."According to the American Chemical Society, 11 of the top 50 universities have no women among their full professors of chemistry, but at Rutgers, New Jersey's state university, six of 30 are female. Overall, 25 percent of Rutgers's chemistry faculty are women, making it tops in the nation; the average university has 12 percent women chemists. Rutgers department chair Roger Jones admits that he urges women who are unhappy elsewhere to send him a resume. His key recruiting pitch isn't about day...
  • BULLY IN THE PULPIT

    They're called change agents. They swoop in to transform stodgy institutions, using their power of persuasion--or brute force--to implement their bold agenda. It's a risky tack, one that guarantees large numbers of people will hate the boss's guts. If successful, change agents are celebrated. But at every step of the way, opponents lie in wait, ready to pounce at the slightest misstep. They can sense moments of vulnerability. Can this leader be toppled?This storyline may feel like a tired cliche in corporate America, where CEO ousters have become as common as love triangles in soap operas. But last week this narrative unfolded with high drama in a place where power struggles usually occur more discreetly: the ivory tower. A month after giving an ill-advised talk on why women aren't more successful in science and engineering, Harvard President Larry Summers faced his first faculty meeting. For 90 minutes professors berated the former Treasury secretary, their denunciations...
  • KING OF THE HILL

    For some skiers, the midday meal is a modest repast--say, a brown-bag lunch, some watery cocoa or a bowl of expensive chili eaten elbow-to-elbow in a drafty mountainside cafeteria. But those skiers don't dine at the Game Creek Club atop Vail Mountain, where members pay a $50,000 initiation fee to feast, as they did on a recent Friday, on a buffet of seafood and roasted quail. At a table near the center of the room sat New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, with another billionaire, buyout maven Thomas H. Lee, nearby. At a window, enjoying the scenery--outside and in--was Vail Resorts chairman and CEO Adam Aron. There was lots to like: the view was better than a Rocky Mountain postcard.And these high-priced lunches were only going to enhance the corporate bottom line.The Game Creek Club--one of several intimate members-only eateries that Aron has opened at Vail of late--is just an example of how the ski industry is learning new tricks. For years it was a no-growth washout: for most of the...
  • IT'S MUELLER TIME

    In the past decade the ski industry has surely gone corporate, with publicly traded companies like Vail buying up resorts and diversifying into hotels. But as the M.B.A.s schuss into ski country, there remain some traditionalists who believe stocks and snow don't mix. Prominent among them are Tim and Diane Mueller, among the most successful of the remaining mom-and-pop ski moguls.The Muellers, high-school sweethearts who grew up on New York's Long Island, became involved in the vacation biz in the 1970s when they helped Diane's parents develop resort communities in Vermont and the Virgin Islands. In 1982 the Muellers, then in their early 30s, borrowed heavily to buy Okemo, then a back-water ski area in Ludlow, Vt., that was in desperate need of upgrading--their old Poma lifts were the stuff of lore and sores. Over the next few years they added slopeside condominiums, trails, lifts and lodges, and skiers took notice. Today Okemo has twice as many lifts and three times the trails it...
  • PRINTING CASH, FOR NOW

    The sign in the window at Staples appears altruistic: "Recycle your empty inkjet cartridges," it urges. "We'll donate $1 to local education." But this program isn't aimed only at saving the world--it's also intended to swipe some milk from the cash cow known as printer consumables. Staples takes those donated cartridges and sends them to suppliers who clean them, refill them with ink and repackage them in green-and-black boxes as Staples-brand cartridges, which compete alongside brands like Canon and HP. Consider HP's trusty No. 56 black inkjet cartridge, which sells for $19.99. Staples' "remanufactured" version fetches $16.99--15 percent less. The cashier will throw in $7 worth of printer paper to get shoppers to try Staples ink.Among HP's dysfunctional collection of businesses lies a real gem: its printing and imaging division. HP sold $24 billion worth of printing gear last year, which delivered the bulk of HP's $4.2 billion in operating profits. Much of this profit comes from...
  • SHOPLIFTING: THE FIVE-FINGER FIX?

    The holidays are not just the busiest time for shopping--they're also the busiest time for shoplifting. For retailers, so-called shrinkage--which includes employee theft and return fraud, along with folks' taking the five-finger discount--is a $34 billion-a-year problem. Technology like closed-circuit cameras and electronic merchandise tags have helped to reduce it, but now stores are turning to a new tool to fight back: computer models that help them better predict which items are prone to being swiped.The software, marketed by firms like SPSS and Security Source, uses historical data on sales, returns, voided transactions and inventory to identify suspicious patterns. The software helped Chase-Pitkin, a home-improvement chain in upstate New York, realize that outdoor merchandise like gas grills and Christmas trees was disappearing--something it ordinarily wouldn't have caught until doing post-holiday inventory. Now motion detectors and extra staffers keep those items from walking....
  • COLLEGE: PIMP MY... RENTAL

    Today nearly every college student has a cell phone and an iPod, but there's one possession that remains rare on many campuses: a car. Due to limited parking, many schools restrict students from keeping vehicles. That forces them to rely on public transportation or to rent cars (which is hard, since many rental-car companies serve only drivers 25 or older). Those inconveniences are creating opportunities for Zipcar, the car-sharing service that's been offering by-the-hour car rentals to city dwellers since 2000.Zipcar began testing its cars-on-campus concept at MIT in 2002. Today it has rentals at 18 East Coast colleges. Zipcar charges students a $25 membership fee; drivers then pay rates starting at $8.50 an hour or $65 per day, which includes gas and insurance. While Zipcar generally rents only to drivers 21 and older, this fall Wellesley College inked a deal that allows even freshmen drivers behind the wheel. The company's college fleet--it includes the Toyota Prius, Volvo S40,...
  • YOGA: STRETCHING AN EMPIRE

    When the Internet boom came crashing down, high-tech entrepreneurs Rob Wrubel and George Lichter were left with bad backs from too much time on airplanes and in front of computers. To recuperate, the duo--who'd previously led the software company Knowledge Adventures and the search engine Ask Jeeves--turned to yoga. And while casting about for their next business venture, they bypassed ideas like water-purification technology and instead became the co-CEOs of Yoga Works. Their goal: to launch a national chain of high-quality yoga studios.Since last year they've bought up established studios in Los Angeles, New York and Orange County, Calif.; they currently operate 14 locations and are working the kinks out before expanding nationally. They compare their business to Whole Foods Market, which brings healthy food to the masses while earning nice profits. Fifteen million Americans already practice yoga, according to Yoga Journal, and 20 million others intend to start. "It's not a fad,"...
  • RE-ENGINEERING 2.0

    When it comes to using technology to re-invent how companies do business, Michael Hammer wrote the book on the concept. His 1993 best seller "Reengineering the Corporation" (with coauthor James Champy), launched thousands of corporate reorganizations--and nearly as many "Dilbert" strips. Eleven years later companies are still hiring Hammer, an engineer and former MIT professor, to teach them to become more efficient. Why is it taking so long to learn these lessons? Partly, Hammer tells NEWSWEEK's Daniel McGinn, because it takes time for companies to learn to use today's whiz-bang technology to streamline their operations. And partly because "for many organizations, re-engineering has become a way of life." Excerpts:Re-engineering was celebrated at first, but later it was demonized for driving layoffs. Why?Hammer: Every new business concept has a life cycle. At first it's overhyped, and then the counterreformation sets in--you start to see criticisms of it. Being criticized is fine,...
  • SWIMMING UPSTREAM

    For shopaholics, the village of Freeport, Maine, spells danger. The main street is lined with merchants offering all manner of temptations, from $285 Allen Edmonds shoes at one end to the $2,500 Thos. Moser rocking chairs at the other. But the primary attraction lies smack in the middle: the 160,000-square-foot L.L. Bean store, a retailing Disneyland luring 3 million visitors annually. Inside are acres of backpacks, cross-country skis, fleece vests, chamois shirts and hand-sewn moccasins, along with a climbing wall and indoor trout pond. Across the parking lot lies Bean's Hunting & Fishing annex, with enough guns and ammo to supply an infantry division. The Bean shoppers who prowl these premises--24 hours a day, 365 days a year--seem energized. Some have the same expectant look of the devotees who line up at dawn beside a soon-to-open Krispy Kreme location. But up Main Street at Bean's headquarters, CEO Chris McCormick takes little comfort in this frenzy of buying. The shoppers...
  • Is This Any Way To Run An Airline?

    Michael O'Leary is sitting in his spartan office on the outskirts of Dublin airport, wearing headphones and crooning along--badly--to the U2 classic "Bad." "If you twist and turn away," he warbles, in a key that makes a visitor wish a jet would roar overhead. The music is coming from a handheld device about the size of an Etch A Sketch. It's a digital media player, equipped with music from 100 CDs and hours of video: cartoons, sitcoms, even first-run movies. Starting next month Ryanair, the no-frills airline O'Leary has turned into an industry darling, will begin renting the devices to passengers for $6 per flight. The plan has all the markings of the strategies Ryanair has made famous. The handheld units are far cheaper than installing the seat-back TVs other airlines use, and renting them gives Ryanair a whole new way to squeeze money from its passengers during flights. Says O'Leary: "We think this is going to be the next really big thing up in the air."If his track record is any...
  • MATING BEHAVIOR 101

    It was just after sunset on a warm day at the College of New Jersey. Under a rising moon, the soccer team ran the field in the lighted stadium. Outside the student union, a guitar duo played an acoustic set. And in a dormitory lounge, 27 freshmen sprawled on couches as psychology professor Elizabeth Paul quizzed them about their sex lives. There was hardly any talk of "dating" or "boyfriends" or "girlfriends"--this is 2004, not a rerun of "Happy Days." Instead, the students and the professor talked about "beer goggles" and what happens when partners "catch feelings." Even as freshmen these students know enough about "hooking up" to hold forth for more than an hour. As they dished, Paul scrawled in her notebook. Their musings may contain the spark for her next big research project.Since the late 1990s the media has been filled with accounts of adolescent hookups. The phrase describes one-time sexual encounters--anything from kissing to intercourse--between acquaintances who've no...
  • NO ROAD TO RUIN

    For anyone who drools over home-makeover shows, visiting the KB Home studio in Las Vegas is like a child's trip to Disney World. The showroom is filled with granite counters, oak cabinetry, sleek appliances and young couples tricking out their dream home. This is where customers of KB, the nation's largest builder of entry-level homes, choose accessories, from superinsulated windows to built-in surround-sound speakers. The average buyer spends $25,000 on these options, but it seems painless thanks to the handy chart that studio director Miguel Hutton hands out at the door. The chart, with a sliding arrow pointing to the current mortgage rate, shows that $25,000 in upgrades will add just $145 to a monthly mortgage payment, or, as Hutton explains it, just "$35 a paycheck."Such is the power of low interest rates, which have helped fuel the biggest run-up in home values in a generation. For years experts have debated whether skyrocketing home prices--up 9 percent nationally in the last...
  • BUSINESS: THE ANTI-WAL-MARTS

    The toy business is a cruel place these days. The latest reminder came last week, when Toys "R" Us announced plans to split its company in half--and possibly get out of the toy business altogether. The toy seller's move makes it the latest company to be squeezed out by Wal-Mart--both KB Toys and FAO Schwartz have filed for bankruptcy since the chain began deeply discounting toys a few years ago.Although this storyline feels familiar--another business crushed by Sam Walton's empire--it doesn't tell the whole tale. "In almost every category in which Wal-Mart competes, there's at least one competitor that has figured out how to hold their own," says Bain & Co. consultant Darrell Rigby. They're finding ways to justify higher prices, most often by offering unique products or better service. Upscale grocery chains like Trader Joe's are growing; specialty retailers are stealing sales from Wal-Mart in the hair-care and cosmetics categories, and in home electronics Best Buy is thriving...
  • SOME OF THE SMALL SURVIVE

    Joseph Diaz is standing in a Wal-Mart in suburban Boston surrounded by "shut-up toys." That's his name for the cheap playthings--93-cent blocks, 88-cent kites--shoppers buy to quiet their kids. But amid the bargain-basement merchandise are a few toys that make Diaz, president of the upscale toy chain Learning Express, a bit nervous. In one aisle he spots Legos at prices 20 percent less than his stores charge. On a high shelf he spies a $97.52 Radio Flyer wagon. "That's a big price point," he says. It'd make a great birthday gift for a grandchild--and a lost sale for Learning Express.A few years ago every big retailer was struggling to devise a strategy to compete with Web retailers like Amazon.com. Lately they're focused on a different threat: Wal-Mart Stores. The chain is already the world's largest company, but its expansion into new regions and product categories is remaking entire industries: as Wal-Mart began deeply discounting holiday toys in recent years, chains like KB and...
  • TAKING DEPRESSION ON

    On the long list of worries Mom and Dad have when a child goes to college--grades, homesickness, partying--there's a new issue: the apparent rise in mental illness on campus. More than 1,100 college students commit suicide each year, according to estimates by mental-health groups. And even when students aren't in acute distress, they're suffering in surprisingly large numbers. In a 2003 survey by the American College Health Association, more than 40 percent of students reported feeling "so depressed, it was difficult to function" at least once during the year; 30 percent said they were suffering from an anxiety disorder or depression.While there's debate over why the numbers seem to be rising, there's also concern that colleges aren't dealing with the problem. In January the Crimson, Harvard's student newspaper, published a widely discussed five-part series concluding that "an overwhelming majority" of Harvard undergraduates experience mental-health problems. The series further...
  • PLUMBING: THE FUTURE OF FLUSHING

    Americans are used to ordering things ranging from french fries to popcorn in small, medium or supersize. Now those same decision-making skills may become useful in the bathroom, thanks to an innovative plumbing technology: dual-flush toilets. The new gizmos are the industry's latest attempt to help reduce water usage, a movement that hasn't always gone smoothly. The last big toilet makeover came more than a decade ago, when the U.S. government decreed that new toilets should use just 1.6 gallons of water per flush, down from the 3.5-gallon standard that had ruled the industry for decades. But consumers complained that it often took two or more flushes to clear the bowl; so many people preferred the old toilets that some plumbers imported them illegally from Canada. "We're still getting complaints about people not happy with the performance," says Bill Gauley of Veritec Consulting. The dual-flush toilets, which have been used for years in Australia and parts of Europe, rely on a...
  • DEALING WITH DEPRESSION

    On the long list of worries that Mom and Dad have when a child goes to college--grades, homesickness, partying--there's a new issue gaining prominence: the apparent rise in mental illness on campus. More than 1,100 college students commit suicide each year, according to estimates by mental-health groups. And even when students aren't in acute distress, they're suffering in surprisingly large numbers. In a 2003 survey by the American College Health Association, more than 40 percent of students reported feeling "so depressed it was difficult to function" at least once during the year. Thirty percent identified themselves as suffering from an anxiety disorder or depression.While there is debate over why the numbers seem to be rising, there's also concern that colleges aren't dealing with the problem adequately. In January 2004 the Crimson, Harvard's student newspaper, published a widely discussed five-part series which concluded that "an overwhelming majority" of Harvard undergraduates...
  • HOSPITALS: A HEAVY- DUTY JOB

    For nurses, it's a job almost as unpleasant as changing bedpans: moving heavy patients from stretchers to beds and back again. With the average U.S. nurse now in her mid-40s and hospitalized Americans growing more supersized each year, patient-schlepping is putting more nurses in danger of being hospitalized themselves. The American Nurses Association estimates 52 percent of its members complain of chronic back pain; according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurses are more at risk for back strains than construction workers. So at the ANA's biennial convention in Minneapolis this week, nurses will discuss a key lobbying goal: getting more hospitals to enact "no lift" policies requiring that machines, rather than nurses, be responsible for "patient handling."Many hospitals that specialize in bariatric surgery on obese patients are already equipped with hydraulic equipment--imagine a small crane with a sling on it--for that job. The technology is also widely used in Europe. But in...
  • MONEY: MAGICAL NEW MORTGAGES

    The federal reserve is expected to raise interest rates this month--but for home buyers, that seems like old news. Rates on 30-year fixed mortgages have jumped nearly a full point since March, to 6.24 percent. That's driven the monthly payment on a $200,000 loan up by $114. Rising rates usually force home buyers to downsize their aspirations. But Paul Fein of mortgage lender GMAC sees many of today's buyers opting for a different strategy: instead of settling for a smaller home, many are still buying their dream house by taking out mortgages that are structured to offer lower monthly payments, at least early on.They're able to do that because one-size-fits-all mortgages have been replaced by financing that's increasingly customized to meet home buyers' needs. The most common way to lower a payment is by choosing an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), which offers lower initial interest rates. Today ARMs account for 34 percent of new mortgages, up from 12 percent in 2001. Many buyers are...
  • OFFSHORING: GOOD PUBLIX RELATIONS

    Charlie seaman used to drink Coca-Cola. Then the laid-off Atlanta tech worker heard the company was "offshoring" jobs overseas. Determined to stop patronizing companies that he believed discarded U.S. workers, Seaman began researching and eventually launched a Web site, onshorealternatives.com, that lists which companies offshore and which don't. Now he shops at barnesandnoble.com instead of Amazon, uses a local bank and drinks Publix-brand cola. "Once you get used to it, it tastes fine," he says.In the debate over offshoring there's been a constant refrain: Americans may decry the practice, but they love buying low-cost goods at stores like Wal-Mart. Thanks to MADE IN THE USA, shoppers have long had the ability to buy American when making purchases. But much of today's offshoring is being done by banks, insurance companies and tax preparers--service firms that don't use labels. So anti-offshoring activists have been launching Web sites and writing letters, highlighting firms that...
  • Quitting Time

    Come along, folks, for a journey into the jungle of the American workplace. Today we're hunting an elusive creature, one that was quite common five years ago but has rarely been seen in recent times. You may recognize him by his suit--he's dressed just a tad too formally today, as if he has an important meeting outside the building. Or maybe we'll catch a glimpse of that telltale stationery peeking out from his desk--the heavy, ivory stock that's a giveaway he's been printing resumes. Wait--quiet--here's one now. She's a 39-year-old lab technician in the Midwest. Co-workers haven't noticed (she hopes), but lately she's displaying behaviors characteristic of the covert job hunter. She's checking her cell-phone voice mail every hour for messages from potential employers. To get time off for interviews--she's got one this Wednesday--she's using all sorts of excuses. "I have to chaperone my kid's school field trip," she'll say, or maybe it's an eye doctor's appointment (wink-wink). By...
  • Eternal Life For Frosty

    For skiers, spring is the cruelest time of year. The mercury is rising, and most resorts have shut their lifts weeks ago. By Memorial Day, only a handful of high-altitude ski areas (like Colorado's Arapahoe Basin) will remain open. But in the mountains of New Hampshire, a start-up company called SnowMagic is trying to change that. Its goal is to let ski areas--or amusement parks, shopping malls, even minor-league stadiums--make snow no matter what the thermometer reads. SnowMagic is working to perfect a technology called "temperature-independent snow making." And if it's sucessful, it could change the notion of what constitutes a winter sport.Ski resorts have relied on artificial snow--superfine ice, really--for decades. But traditional snow-making systems--which blow water and compressed air through special nozzles to aerosolize it, then rely on outdoor air to freeze it before it hits the slopes--only work when temperatures drop below freezing. Temperature-independent systems...
  • Television: Tax Trouble For Abc's 'Extreme' Winne

    Last fall Trent Woslum, a National Guardsman who was deployed in Iraq, got an e-mail from his wife. She'd been contacted by a new TV show called "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," which wanted to do a big renovation of their southern California home--free of charge. By mid-December the family had new furniture, appliances and even a backyard baseball diamond. Estimated value: as much as $250,000. The production company gave the Woslums a letter saying its accountant believed the family didn't have to pay taxes on their windfall, but when the family's own accountant read it, he grew wary. "I'm living in fear and trepidation," says accountant Brett Porter. If the IRS looks closely, he worries, the family could owe thousands in taxes. "There's no way I'd be able to pay," says Woslum, whose savings ran dry during his deployment.It's common knowledge that lottery or TV game-show participants must pay taxes on their winnings. On "This Old House," homeowners routinely pay taxes on donated...
  • Government: Cradle Of Democracy

    This week nearly 2,000 residents of Concord, Mass., will skip "American Idol" to spend their evenings in the school auditorium, debating an extension to the town's sewer line. Town meetings are a New England tradition, but in most communities attendance has fallen; some towns are debating whether to replace the meetings altogether. But in Concord, where meetings sometimes stretch for 20 hours over six nights, attendance has jumped sharply in recent years. Joseph Zimmerman, author of "The New England Town Meeting," says: "Concord is really the first town to come up with a program to make the town meeting more comfortable." Concord offers baby-sitting for parents and free rides for seniors. It broadcasts the auditorium debate into the cafeteria, where residents knit, do puzzles or eat pizza. Town moderator Ned Perry schedules the most controversial debates for set times, so people can show up just to vote for the hot issue. Perry admits the meetings are a big time commitment, but ...
  • FAST FOOD: FINE, HAVE IT YOUR WAY

    In a 2000 survey by the National Restaurant Association, researchers detected a strange hankering: Americans said they'd like to be able to pick up "drive-thru" food at sit-down chains like Ruby Tuesday and Outback Steakhouse. Ask and ye shall receive: today a host of chains (including those) offer "curbside service," in which employees carry takeout bags of food to customers' cars. Now restaurant trend spotters say they've found another innovation on the horizon: automated ordering at fast-food drive-thrus. In a recent survey, National Restaurant Association economist Hudson Riehle found that 75 percent of consumers between the ages of 18 and 24 said they'd prefer to banish the traditional drive-thru setup, where customers place orders through tinny speakers, and instead punch in the order themselves on a touch screen.So far none of the nation's "quick service restaurant" chains is using such a system, but a Los Angeles-based firm, Drive Thru Technology, says it should have one...
  • BEER 101. SERIOUSLY.

    Beer is a part of life at most universities, but it's rarely found in the course catalog. For M.B.A. students at Bentley College outside Boston, however, the beverage has a prominent place in the curriculum. In The Organizational Life Cycle: The Boston Beer Company, 36 students meet with the executives to study the development of the company that brews Samuel Adams. Prof. Alan Hoffman says the process improves upon the traditional M.B.A. course, in which students fly through case studies about dozens of companies each semester. "This evolves case teaching to the next level," he says, justifying the choice of Boston Beer because it created the craft-beer niche, stealing market share from bigger firms in the process.Susan Fero, a marketing manager at Bose Corp., had to talk her boss into paying for the course. "How does this apply to your job?" he demanded. Her answer: their division is in start-up mode just as Boston Beer was in the 1980s, so it's a good model. (He approved.) Hoffman...
  • HOW TO ANTE UP

    Even as regulatory announcements go, this one was anticlimactic. For a decade, corporate bosses and legislators debated what to do about stock options, the compensation tool that launched so many Microsoft Millionaires and inspired so much envy during the '90s boom. But since Enron's collapse, calls for reform have grown too loud to ignore. So last month the Financial Accounting Standards Board, the industry's private rulemaking body, proposed that companies must deduct from earnings the value of options given to employees. Many companies have gotten ahead of those regs, shifting pay practices in ways that are coming to light as they file proxy statements. As more filings are revealed this spring, says consultant Dan Ryterband, there will be "a sea change in compensation."For both worker bees and top brass, the regulatory shift could have a big effect on how much the above-and-beyond-salary portion of pay packages is ultimately worth. Already, pros expect many companies to replace...