Chapter 4. Doing Better Every Day: Actuant Aims and Delivers (Again and Again)

BACK IN DECEMBER 1999, JUST IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS, BOB ARZBAECHER’S BOSS CALLED HIM IN FOR A CHAT. BOB WAS THE CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER OF APPLIED POWER, A MANUFACTURER OF INDUSTRIAL AND ELECTRONICS PRODUCTS BASED IN WAUKESHA, WISCONSIN. HIS BOSS WAS RICHARD G. SIM, THE CHAIRMAN AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE. HERE’S HOW BOB DESCRIBES THE ENCOUNTER: “HE TOLD ME HE HAD SOME GOOD NEWS AND SOME BAD NEWS. THE GOOD NEWS WAS THAT I WAS GOING TO GET TO BE THE CEO OF A NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE COMPANY. THE BAD NEWS WAS THAT THE COMPANY WAS GOING TO BE LOADED DOWN WITH DEBT.”

Applied Power planned to spin off its electronics businesses in a new entity called APW Ltd. As much of the parent ...

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