This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: past two decades was driven by the entrepreneurial spirit of its longtime chief executive, Charles “Mike”
Harper. When Harper took over ConAgra in 1974, it was losing money, the market value of its stock was $10 million, and the value of its
debt was $156 million. According to the company’s official history, ConAgra Who? (1989), Harper promptly instituted a new corporate
philosophy. “Harper told each general manager that he’d been given a bag of money,” the company history explains, “and that at the end of
the year he’d be expected to return it – plus a little extra.” He gave each of his top executives a personalized, inspirational plaque. On it was
a cartoon of two vultures sitting in a tree. “Patience, my ass,” one vulture says to the other. “I’m gonna go kill somebody.”
The intense pressure to return a bigger bag of money every year has prompted a number of ConAgra employees to break the law. In 1989,
ConAgra was found guilty in federal court of having systematically cheated chic...
View Full Document
This note was uploaded on 02/25/2014 for the course MGMT 120 taught by Professor Litt during the Spring '08 term at UCLA.
- Spring '08