Chainsaw Dunlap

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Albert John Dunlap (born July 26, 1937) is a retired corporate executive. He was best known as a turnaround specialist and downsizer. The ruthless methods he employed to streamline ailing companies, most notably Scott Paper, won him the nicknames "Chainsaw Al" and "Rambo in Pinstripes". However, his reputation was ruined after he engineered a massive accounting scandal at Sunbeam-Oster. Dunlap believed that the primary goal of any business should be to make money for its shareholders. To that end, he believed in making widespread cuts, including massive layoffs, in order to streamline operations. By firing thousands of employees at once and closing plants and factories, he drastically altered the economic status of such corporations as Scott Paper and Crown Zellerbach. He sold Scott Paper to Kimberly-Clark in 1995 for $7.8 billion and walked away with a $100 million golden parachute. He took over as chairman and CEO of Sunbeam in 1996. His methods resulted in Sunbeam's reporting record earnings of $189 million in 1997. However, he was unable to find a buyer by 1998. Dunlap then decided to buy controlling interest in camping gear maker Coleman, coffee machine maker Signature Brands (best known for making Mr. Coffee) and smoke detector maker First Alert. Within two days, Sunbeam's stock jumped to an all-time high of $52 per share only to end up worthless in bankruptcy. However, industry insiders were suspicious when they discovered certain seasonal items were being sold at higher volume than normal for the time of year. For instance, large numbers of barbecue grills were being sold during the fourth quarter. It turned out that Dunlap had been selling products to retailer’s at large discounts. The products were stored in third-party warehouses to be delivered later. This strategy, known as "bill and hold", is an accepted accounting practice as long as the sales are booked after delivery. However, Dunlap booked the sales immediately. Many shareholders felt they'd...
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