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            "Conversations with Harold Hudson Channer"

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         Guests For  WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 26, 2008



                              (Originally aired Dec. 1984)

                                                HAROLD  GENEEN

                                   (1910-1997 R.I.P.)



                                           President / CEO

International  Telephone and Telegraph Corporation






The program can be viewed in its entirety by clicking the you tube link below:

   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jvi6PI7WxE - HAROLD  GENEEN



More about: HAROLD  GENEEN

Harold Geneen

Harold Geneen was born in Bournemouth, England, in 1910. Geneen’s childhood was spent at

boarding schools and summer camps. When Geneen started work, as a runner for the New York

Stock Exchange, he continued to study at night at New York University. In 1934 his hard work

was rewarded with a degree in accounting.

For the next 25 years his career took in a string of companies starting with the forerunners of

Coopers & Lybrand followed by Montgomery an accounting firm, then the American Can Co.,

Bell and Howell Co., Jones and Laughlin Steel Co. and Raytheon. After Raytheon, where

Geneen was vicepresident, came the biggest challenge of Geneen’s career and the job that

made him famous — International Telegraph and Telephone Company (ITT).

When Geneen arrived at ITT in 1959 the corporation was a ragbag collection of businesses,

loosely focused around telecommunications, with revenues of $800,000. During the 1960s the

predominant organisational trend was one of diversification and conglomeration. CEOs went

into a purchasing frenzy raiding the corporate aisles for any company, no matter what business

it was in, so long as it turned a profit. Geneen was no exception.

Over the ensuing decade Geneen purchased over 300 companies operating in over 60 different

countries. There was no rationale to these purchases, no common thread, other than that of

profit. Sheraton hotels, Avis car hire, Continental Baking, were all tucked away in ITT’s roomy


It was a mammoth undertaking to manage so many disparate companies. Fortunately for ITT,

Geneen was a fiercely driven workaholic. His ITT office in New York was equipped with

eight telephones and a clock that showed what parts of the world were in daylight, and what in


Ten suitcase-sized leather attaché cases crammed full of documents were stacked along the

window ledges. Six of the cases, stuffed with reports, communiqués and memos from over 400

reporting corporations, followed Geneen around the country and the world.

In his late eighties long after he left ITT, Geneen was still working a ten hour day at his office

in New York’s Waldorf-Astoria hotel running a company, Gunther International, that he had

bought into in 1992. “If I had enough arms and legs and time, I would do it all myself,” said

Geneen. Even then it required all his energy to control the ITT conglomerate. To keep ITT

under control Geneen employed rigorous financial accounting methods.

Each month 50 or more executives flew to Brussels to spend several days examining the

figures. “I want no surprises,” was one of Geneen’s mantras. Full information was paramount,

as was the ability to tell real facts for details masquerading as facts. “The highest art of

professional management requires the literal ability to smell a real fact from all others,”

asserted Geneen.

And Geneen’s approach seemed to work. From 1959 to 1977 ITT sales rocketed from some

$765 million to approaching $28 billion, with earnings up from $29 million to $562 million.

It was a success by most people standards, not just Geneen’s.

Yet the more companies Geneen acquired, the harder it was to keep all the plates spinning in

the air. In 1974 and 1975 profits fell, Geneen may have been able to keep up a relentless place,

but his followers were either unable or unwilling to match it.

Geneen’s efforts to support his company’s share price sometimes strayed outside the boundaries

of acceptable practice. In 1972 America’s Securities and Exchange Commission discovered

$8.7m had been sunk into nefarious and illegal activities around the world. This allegedly

included bribery and colluding with the CIA in an attempt to undermine the Allende government

in Chile.

Geneen stepped down as chief executive in 1977, as chairman in 1979, and as a director four

years later. Geneen carried on working in a number of different companies of his own creation

until his death from a heart attack in 1997.

ITT, however, was a different proposition. Without Geneen to support it the house of cards

collapsed. ITT limped on but eventually, after selling many of the companies acquired by

Geneen, it was split up into three separate companies.

Harold Geneen was one of the last of his breed. He came to power at ITT at the height of the

mania for conglomerates. Size mattered. It’s doubtful if any other CEO in corporate history has

acquired more companies, over 300, with less rationale. Of course acquisition is one way to

grow earnings, but eventually the relentless growth has to stop and increased earnings must

come from existing operations.

In the decade following Geneen’s departure from ITT, the cry from the boardroom was “stick

to the knitting”. Companies slimmed down, shed non-core business and left ITT looking like

a bloated dinosaur. Yet, Geneen deserves his place in the pantheon of business greats. Why?

Because he was the best of his type, the paragon of his age. The king of the conglomerates.

Source: Business Strategy Review, Autumn 2005



"In the business world, everyone is paid in two coins: cash and experience. Take the

experience first; the cash will come later."

"Do you want my one-word secret of happiness -- It's growth -- mental, financial, you name it."

"I don't believe in just ordering people to do things. You have to sort of grab an oar and row

with them."

"When you have mastered numbers, you will in fact no longer be reading numbers, any more

than you read words when reading books You will be reading meanings."

"The worst disease which can afflict executives in their work is not, as popularly supposed,

alcoholism; it's egotism."

"You can't run a business or anything else on a theory."

See more famous quotes by Harold S. Geneen

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Questions Reference
Wikipedia: Harold Geneen
Harold Sydney Geneen (January 22, 1910November 21, 1997), was an American businessman. Harold Geneen was

born in Bournemouth, Hampshire, England. He emigrated to the U.S. as an infant with his parents. He studied accounting at

New York University.

Harold Geneen
Harold Geneen



Between 19561959 he was CEO of Raytheon, developing his management structure, allowing large degree of freedom

for divisions maintaining high degree of financial and other accountability.

During 19591972 he was the president and CEO of International Telephone and Telegraph Corp. (ITT). He grew the

company from a medium-sized business with $760 million sales in 1961 into multinational conglomerate with $17 billion

sales in 1970. He extended its interests from manufacturing of telegraph equipment into insurance, hotels, real estate

management and other areas. Under Geneen's management, ITT became the archetypal modern multinational conglomerate.

ITT grew primarily through a series of approximately 350 acquisitions and mergers in 80 countries. Some of the largest of

these were Hartford Fire Insurance Company (1970) and Sheraton Hotels.

ITT had many overseas interests. In particular ITT had some $200,000,000-worth of investments in Chile. Under Geneen's

leadership, ITT funneled $700,000 to Allende's opponent, Jorge Alessandri. When Allende won the presidential election,

ITT gave the CIA $1,000,000 to defeat Allende, thus playing a major role in financing of the Chilean coup.

In 1972 Geneen was forced to resign as CEO and president of ITT, staying on the Board of Directors until 1977. His

successors, starting with Rand Araskog, steadily sold off parts of the business.


  • The worst disease which can afflict executives in their work is not, as popularly supposed, alcoholism; it's egotism.
  • You can't run a business or anything else on a theory.
  • Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions.
  • The only unforgivable sin in business is to run out of cash.
  • In the business world, everyone is paid in two coins: Cash and Experience. Take the experience first. The cash will
  • come later.


Harold Geneen wrote and co-authored several books:

  • Harold Geneen, with Brent Bowers The Synergy Myth: And Other Ailments Of Business Today, St. Martin's Press,
  • ISBN 0-312-14724-4
  • Harold Geneen, with Brent Bowers Synergy and Other Lies: Downsizing, Bureaucracy, and Corporate Culture
  • Debunked, St. Martin's Press, ISBN 0-312-20080-3
  • Harold Geneen, Alvin Moscow Managing, Avon Books, ISBN 0-380-69986-9
  • Harold Geneen, Alvin Moscow Alta dirección, Lectorum Pubns Inc, ISBN 84-253-1871-8



The Harold S. Geneen Awards are presented for:

Individual Achievement
To recognize employees who have been responsible for major contributions, through the development of unique improvements or resolution of specific issues. This category includes significant and unique technical research or development that has supported the company in achieving its business goals.

Creative Management
For individuals or teams of ITT Industries employees who have displayed outstanding management skills in directing people in the attainment of corporate goals. Included are supervisors, managers and executives who have achieved exceptional results in creative programs involving imagination and unique application of skills.

Community Service
To acknowledge individuals or teams of employees whose actions have resulted in the improvement of the quality of life within a community. The accomplishments in this category may be a result of either business or social responsibility actions or a combination of these efforts.

Unique Team Achievement
Awarded to teams of ITT Industries employees, technical or non-technical, whose accomplishments significantly and positively affected the company.

In addition to a cash award, each individual or team member receives the Galaxy, the Harold S. Geneen Award.


Harold S. Geneen (1910-1997)

Harold Geneen transformed ITT Corporation into one of the world's leading conglomerates during his 18-year tenure as president and chief executive officer of the company. We are proud to continue his legacy with these awards.


Previous Recipients
(Active ITT Employees Only)

Genevieve Airault
- Cannon Switch Products
Joanne Alderdice - Aerospace Communications
Paul Aram - Cannon UK
Keith Ashcraft - AES
George Ashmore, Jr. - Night Vision
Frank Bal - A/CD
Gerard Baritaux - Cannon Switch Products
John Batzer - A/CD
Charles Bearss - Palm Coast Utility Corp.
Philip Berman - A/CD
John Berte - Avionics
Ernesto Biscardi - Galfer
Rayburn Blaylock - Fabri-Valve
Harvey Bloom - Avionics
Gregory Boyle - AES
Peter Brodie - A/CD
Gene Cangiani - A/CD
Tony Cantalice - Cannon
Claude Cantier - Cannon Switch Products
Jennifer Cantrell - Fabri-Valve
Darryl L. Cargo, Jr. - A/CD
Paolo Casalone - Specialty Products
Gerald Chapman - A/CD
Conrad J. Cierniak - A/CD
Gerry W. Clouser - A/CD
Michael Cook - A/CD
Frank Daly - Aerospace Controls Division
James Dill - A/CD
Louis C. Dollive - A/CD
Peter Domanico - A/CD
Patrick Duffy - Gilfillan
James Dunn - A/CD
Olivier Duperray - Cannon Switch Products
Eddie "Gene" Durrance - Palm Coast Utility
Kie Ericson - Flygt US
Dieter Eschenweck - Cannon Switch Products
A. Duane Ferguson - Systems
Donald Foley - ITT Industries HQ
Harry Forbes - Cannon UK
James Foster - Fabri-Valve
Thomas Fulshaw - A/CD
Frank Gaddy - Fabri-Valve
Neil Gallagher - Night Vision
Anthony Galpern - A/CD
Paolo Giovannozzi - Galfer
Larry F. Goshorn - A/CD
Jon Green - Cannon UK
James W. Harris - Night Vision
Gay Hatcher - Systems
Rick Haueter - Cannon Switch Products
Steven Heng - Cannon Switch Products
Nick Hill - Cannon UK
W.D. Holcomb - Fabri-Valve
Timothy Horrigan - A/CD
Dwayne Howell - Fabri-Valve
Gu Cheng Hua - Cannon Switch Products
Teow Joo Hwa - Cannon Switch Products
Alain JanniÈre - Cannon Switch Products
Chris Jardine - Cannon Switch Products
George Jarosz, Jr. - Palm Coast Utility Corp.
Craig Johnson - Continental Arbitration Defense Team
Donald Kammer - A/CD
James Kelly - A/CD
Ip Wai Keung - Cannon Switch Products
Jack Kopson - A/CD
William Leech - Fabri-Valve
Glenn Leibowitz - Cannon
Richard Lewis, II - Defense
John Liljegren - A/CD
Paul Lisi - A/CD
Vincent Maffeo - ITT Industries
Renford Marsh - Fabri-Valve
Michael Mayone - Continental Arbitration Defense Team
James McChesney - A/CD
Owen Medley, III - Fabri-Valve
Ljubomir Micic - Semiconductor WW
Pasquale "Pat" Migliaccio - A/CD
Kary Miller - Systems
James Moser - Systems
Vickie Moser - Systems
Christophe Mulin - Cannon Switch Products
Steven Muzslay - Cannon
Jeremiah Needham - A/CD
Tim Nelson - Continental Arbitration Defense Team
Edward Niday - A/CD
Douglas Ott - Avionics
Gary Paderewski - AES
Tony Parker - Fabri-Valve
Paul Parzanese - Systems
Bill Perry - A/CD
Charles Peters - Higbie
Richard W. Powers - ITT Industries HQ
James Pratt - ITT WHQ
Joseph P. Predina - A/CD
Boots Rainwater - Federal Services Corp.
William D. Ratner - Gilfillan
Brenda Reichelderfer - Specialty Products
E. George Riedel - Defense
Victor N. Rios - Defense
Gareth Rogers - Cannon Switch Products, Singapore
Lars Rosen - Flygt AB
Manfred Sacher - Vogel
Steve Sager - Systems
Robert Saletta - ITT WHQ
Willy Semmelroggen - Cannon Switch Products
George Settlecowski - Federal Services Corp.
William Shields - Fabri-Valve
Harris Simmons - Fabri-Valve
Theodore Skopak - A/CD
Kent G. Sprunger - A/CD
Harold Standifer - Fabri-Valve
Peter Steensma - A/CD
Carl Strazzulla - Cannon Switch Products
Christer Svensson - Flygt AB
Frank Tan - Cannon Switch Products
Albert Tien - Cannon
Riccardo Trossi - Galfer
Richard Ullman - Defense
Todd Vande Brake - AES
George Vensko - A/CD
Bernard Wagner - A/CD
Thomas Walloch, Jr. - Gilfillan
Richard Ward - Fabri-Valve
James White - Avionics
Randall Wigginton - Fabri-Valve
Darrell Wilk - Cannon Switch Products
Qu Cheng Ying - Cannon Switch Products
Christopher D. Young - A/CD




                            Wednesday  November 26, 2008

Individual programs can be viewed each week day

                    10:30 - 11:30 AM  / (NYC Time)

                 Channel 34 of the Time/Warner & Channel 82 of the RCN 
                       Cable Television Systems in Manhattan, New York.

The Program can now be viewed on the internet at time of cable casting at


                  NOTE: You must adjust viewing to reflect NYC time

                                    & click on channel 34 at site


                                    241 West 36th StreetNew York,N.Y. 10018 Phone: 212-695-6351 E-Mail: HHC@NYC.RR.COM


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