Winter 2005

Winter 2005

Cover Story

  • Age Power!

    With the baby boomer generation nearing 65, key players at a recent Wharton conference weighed in on retirement, a possible labor shortage, and the strengths of an older work force.

Featured Stories

  • Missions Accomplished

    For 25 years, graduates of the Jerome Fisher Program in Management and Technology have been putting their knowledge to work just about everywhere (even on the moon).

Articles

  • The Maestro

    A profile of James DePriest, W’58

  • Leadership Spotlight: Robert B. Goergen, WG’62

    “Kaizen” is a Japanese word that Bob Goergen, WG’62, likes to use to explain his approach to business. He came across the word—denoting “gradual change”—when reading about Japanese management practices. “I use it to differentiate between great leaps forward and thoughtful, gradual changes where your likelihood of success is much higher,” he explains. Goergen, chairman and CEO of Blyth Inc. and the namesake of Wharton’s Goergen Entrepreneurial Management Program, has built a remarkable career on this concept. Indeed, prudent risk-taking helped Goergen transform Blyth from a small candle maker ($2.8 million in sales) into one of the nation’s largest home-accessories companies ($1.7 billion in sales). A 1962 graduate of Wharton’s MBA program, Goergen had an entrepreneur’s eye for calculated risk from the start. As a rookie at the advertising agency McCann-Erikson, he was asked to fill in for the manager of the Coca-Cola account, who had fallen ill. The opportunity didn’t escape Goergen, who managed to update the company’s marketing campaign by hiring the Supremes to sing the Coca-Cola theme — a replacement for the aging sound of the Limeliters. Then followed a stint as a management consultant at McKinsey & Co. Goergen says he enjoyed his assignments, his clients and a generous salary, but he eventually concluded that McKinsey didn’t fit his long-term goals even though he had become a partner. “What I considered freedom wasn’t high income, but net worth,” he says. “So I began thinking about doing venture capital. I took a huge pay cut to start at the bottom at Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette, with the Sprout Group, its private equity group. I went from partner’s perks to basically starting over.” The move paid off. While highly successful at Sprout (he became the Managing Partner) Goergen also found himself in a position where he was able […]

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