Lawrence A. Bossidy
chairman & ceo, honeywell international, inc.
Survival Tactics for the Chief Executive Officer
Honeywell International Inc. Chief Executive Officer Larry Bossidy told an overflow audience of chairmen, presidents and managing partners at The Chief Executives Club of Boston luncheon today that Honeywell's 2002 net income will rise by 15 percent from 2001, allowing him to retire again from the biggest maker of cockpit electronics in June as planned. Bossidy came out of retirement in July to lead the company after its planned acquisition by General Electric Co. was rejected by European regulators, resulting in the ouster of former CEO Michael Bonsignore. Bossidy then agreed to a one-year stint, promising to rebuild the firm and keep it independent, and neither the recession in the U.S., nor the effects of Sept. 11, have changed that plan, he said.
Bossidy also commented that Honeywell is interested in buying some of the businesses of Tyco International Ltd. "We have an interest in some of the things they're involved in, yes," the Honeywell Chairman said when asked about his interest in buying Tyco assets. "So, over time, we'll be looking at that and see what happens." Tyco spurred interest last week when it announced it would split into four independent companies and sell its plastics business.
Meanwhile, Bossidy is hunting for his successor, expected to be chosen by July 1, and offered some pointers for prospective candidates during his speech. Bossidy said the best candidates for his job should not be interested in being "a king."
An ideal candidate, he said, would be someone like Herb Kelleher, the former chief executive of Southwest Airlines Co. who was willing to pass out peanuts and do Elvis impersonations to energize his company. "Herb Kelleher is the perfect example of the engaged CEO" Bossidy said."….The point is, you need to be passionate."
Excerpts of this story ran in the Boston Globe, the Boston Herald, Reuters and Bloomberg.com on Thursday, February 1, 2002.