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How much were you motivated by Wall Street at that time?
Not at all. In those days--as a matter of fact, when I
took over as chairman, Tex gave me two pieces of advise--Tex Moore,
who was the former chairman. One piece of advise was, “Remember that
when you put a person on your board, you've done it forever. You can
divorce your wife, you can disinherit your children, you can do
anything with anybody. But one thing you can't do is get rid of a
director.” How true! [laughs] And the other thing he said was,
“Don't watch the stock price! Play the long-run game.” And how
right he was.
And did you follow that advise?
Despite all the pressure in the world?
I didn't--well, there wasn't that much pressure in those
days. It wasn't as terrible quarterly business. I didn't ever
appear before analysts until--I don't know--the 1970s, I think, or
1960s. And I hated going. I thought it was an outrage to go before
the analysts. Because I knew God damn well that they didn't give a
damn about what our long-range future was. All they cared about was
buying and selling. And they still do. Now they've ended up by
running the U.S. industry. And they'll run it right into the ground.
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