When he retired as CEO of American Airlines, a position he held for 18 years, Robert Crandall was described in a Newsweek article (June 1, 1998) as “one tough [expletive].” Other nicknames Crandall garnered during his career included Fang, Bob the Butcher, and Wretched Robert. Newsweek noted that Crandall’s “salty language and brass-knuckle, in-your-face” style of dealing with employees and rival airlines is now out of style in the executive suites of U.S. corporations. In strategic decision-making situations, why might Crandall’s style of management have been advantageous to American Airlines?
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