The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success

. October 2012. 240p. 978-1-42216-267-5. 27.
In this heavily researched group of profiles, Thorndike, the founder of a private equity firm, identifies eight CEOs as among the most effective but least publicized business leaders of the 20th century. The author began his work on corporate outliers a decade ago with a conference presentation on Henry Singleton, the CEO of Teledyne. His research on seven other iconoclastic leaders who eschewed the limelight while consistently adding value for their stockholders provides a new way to measure the performance of CEOs. Thorndike shows how a company’s returns relative to peers and the market as a whole and the increase in per share value give a true indication of the health of a company. Case studies are provided for each CEO as well as comparisons to peer companies over the same period.
VERDICT Thorndike’s analysis of these overlooked business executives will appeal to business school students and investors looking for a way to evaluate companies outside marketplace chatter. Highly recommended.

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