8A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, April 4, 1996
Crash leaves execs
working to plan
ahead for tragedy
Los Angeles Times
The crash of Commerce Secretary
Ronald Brown's plane yesterday in
the nation's larg-
est ever loss oftop-
level executive tal-
ent in a single trag-
edy, leaving a void
at several compa-
A dozen execu-
tives from the tele-
banking and con-
C - Dx
struction sectors were among those trav-
eling with Brown to offer expertise,
products and services to help the war-
ravaged former Yugoslavia begin re-
building. Their presumed loss cast a
pall over the business world and espe-
cially over employees at the affected
companies, many of which a day earlier
had been giddy at the prospect of land-
ing business in the struggling region.
At Parsons Corp. in Pasadena, Calif.,
employees were in shock as they awaited
news about their chief executive,
Leonard Pieroni. Officials of Guardian
Industries Corp. in Auburn Hills, Mich.,
were behind closed doors much of the
day as they absorbed the potential loss
of David Ford, a senior executive who
had planned to donate 23 metric tons of
glass to Sarajevo for windows in new
office and apartment buildings.
The tragedy spotlights the need for
succession planning and the risks inher-
ent in executives' traveling into remote
and politically unstable corners of the
world asthey reach forbusiness in today's
increasingly global marketplace.
"The reality is,
briously have to fly to-
aniel Bannister ing director of
ive of DynCorp A.T. Kearney, an
firm in Los An-
geles. Most corporations, he and other
experts said, do not do a good job of
succession planning to cope with such
As in past cases of such corporate
loss - affecting companies, from
Donald Trump's gambling and real es-
tate empire to Walt Disney Co. to In-N-
Out Burger to Chevron Corp. - there
will undoubtedly be a flurry of activity
as companies attempt to prepare for
tragic eventualities. But once the shock
phase has passed, Groban said, compa-
nies will return to their old ways.
Bechtel, the big San Francisco engi-
neering firm, confirmed that one of its
executives was scheduled to be on the
plane. P. Stuart Tholan, was president of
Bechtel Europe, Africa, Middle East,
Southwest Asia, a unit with oversight of
company markets throughout the region.
Based in London, the Philadelphia na-
tive had been with Bechtel 33 years. He
oversaw the company's monumental
Commerce Dept. employee Jennifer Schoen (left) consoles employee Kristine Breti at the department in Washington.
work in reconstructing Kuwait's oil pro-
duction facilities after the Gulf War.
Another California executive on
board was Ian Donald Terner, founder
and president of Bridge Housing Corp.,
a nonprofit builder of low-income
housing based in San Francisco.
One executive reacted to the news
with an awkward mix of relief and
sadness. Told of the crash at a gathering
in Fairfax, Va., which he had chosen to
attend in lieu of accompanying Brown,
Daniel Bannister became ashen. He,
pulled out a dog-eared itinerary for the
trip that still happened to be in his
breast pocket and fingered it nervously.
Bannister, the chief executive of
DynCorp, a high-technology services
company, was among 15 U.S. execu-
tives Brown had invited to accompany
him on the trade mission to Bosnia and
Croatia, but Bannister canceled at the
last minute. Three other executives, in-
cluding Alfred Checchi, co-chairman
of Northwest Airlines, did not board the
"I am obviously grateful I didn't make
the trip," Bannister said in a stunned
monotone. "I deeply regret what has
Of course, it doesn't take a headline-
grabbing plane crash to drive home the
need for corporate succession planning.
A heart attack, a traffic accident or an
act of violence can rob an organization
of its leaders.
After Frank Wells, Disney's presi-
dent, died in a helicopter crash while on
a ski trip in April 1994, Chief Executive
Michael Eisner took on his responsi-
bilities. Entertainment industry observ-
ers contended that the added burden
might have contributed to Eisner's need
for emergency heart surgery a few
months later. While on his hospital bed,
a chastened Eisner reportedly began
composing a list of possible successors.
After a 1991 plane crash in Malay-
sia killed a dozen Conoco Inc. em-
ployees, including four senior execu-
tives, the company saw remarkably
little disruption -because the Dallas-
based oil company had a succession
plan in place.
Irvine, Calif.-based In-N-Out Burger
lost its president, Richard Snyder, when
his small plane crashed in a field in late
1993. Snyder, son of the company's
founders, was only 41 but had made
plans for such an event.
Contin'ued from PageIAM
The Unabomber also spoke out against
the advancement of technology, say-
ing in his manifesto that "technology is
a more powerful social force than the
aspiration for freedom."
In the manifesto, the Unabomber
said leftists, including those in high
positions at universities, will use tech-
nology "to oppress everyone else if
they get it under their own control."
Allen Shield, who passed away in
1989, also advised Kaczynski on his
dissertation while he was at the Univer-
sity. Shield was associated with a group
of mathematics professors who urged
those in the field not to take jobs that
would benefit war research.
Shield, along with 73 other profes-
sors from around the country, signed a
Sept. 16,1967, statement that said: "We
urge you to regard yourselves as re-
sponsible for the uses to which your
talents are put. We believe this respon-
sibility forbids putting mathematics in
the service of this cruel war."
Retired mathematics Prof. Maxwell
Reed, who also served on Kaczynski's
doctoral committee, said he had no
memory of Kaczynski's dissertation.
Reed said he served on approxi-
mately 50 doctoral committees in 50
years, and remembered all but 10 of
"(Kaczynski) was working on a very
tough area that did not interest me,"
He said Kaczynski's field of study
has no application in the creation of
bombs and weaponry.
"This is the purest of the pure," he said.
Kaczynski was born in Chicago in
1942 and attended 200-student Ever-
green Park High School in the city's
suburbs. He graduated one year early,
with the class of 1958, and went on to
get an undergraduate degree from
Harvard University in 1962.
In the 1962-63 school year, Kaczynski
lived in East Quad's Prescott House,
Room 300. In 1963-64, he lived in
Prescott Room 239. Kaczynski also
lived at 408 Thompson St. and 529
South Forest Ave. while at the Univer-
- Daily Staff Reporters Matthew
Buckley, Laurie Mayk, Alice
Robinson and Will Weissert
contributed to this report.
may be use&
ISMAILIYA, Egypt (AP) - In a
implicit threat to use military force
Defense Secretary William Perry sai
yesterday the United States would no
allow Libya to complete what Ameri
can intelligence agencies belie
large underground plant to produc
Perry said he shared evidencenclud
ing photographs, with Egyptian Presi
dent Hosni Mubarak during private talk:
yesterday in Cairo. p
"I discussed a variety of evidence w
have," Perry said. He would not be mor
explicit except to say it includeditelli
"They demonstrate that the Liby
are not now producing chemical w
ons, but they have an extensive pro
gram under way to develop a chemica
weapons production facility," Perryto
reporters in an impromptu intervie
near this city on the Suez Canal.,
Asked if the United States would al
low Libya to complete the plant, Pr
said firmly, "No. I don't want to com
ment further on that, but the answer i
He was pressed to say whether t
Clinton administration was consider
ing using force to stop the projec
which Libya has said is part of a hug
irrigation system. "I wouldn't rul
anything out or anything in," he re
He would not say how close U.
intelligence believes Libya is to begi
ning chemical weapons production atth
plant, saying that would reveal classifii
information. "It is not imminent,'
U.S. intelligence agencies say th
Libyan plant is under construction a
Tarhunah,40 miles southeast of Tripoli
The Tarhunah facility was report
edly designed to replace a plant a
Rabta, 55 miles southwest of Tripoli
The Rabta plant was reopened las
fall, five years after a suspicious fir
and Libya insists it manufactures p
Los Angeles Times
BEIJING - In a lengthy report o
the status of China's 300 million chil
dren - one-fifth the world's total
the government yesterday acknowi
edged "much room for improvement,'
particularly in the areas of rural eduta
tion and care for the disabled.
But the report released here b
China's State Council strongly de
allegations by a New York human rig r
organization that infants admitted t
state orphanages are victims of system
atic neglect resulting in many unneces
The Jan. 7 study by Human Right
Watch, titled "Death by Default," cite
government statistics to show that mor
than half of the children admittedt
state orphanages ultimately die there
The Human Rights Watch report
based largely on documents provi
by a whistle-blowing former physicia
at a state orphanage in Shanghai wh
recently emigrated to the UnitedStates
stirred international concern. More re
cently, it has faced a backlash fro
adoption groups in the United State
and Europe that have questioned th
statistical and ethical foundationso
the 331-page document, which',.Wa
based on 1989 statistics.
China last year became the lai
source ofadopted children to the Unite
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