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Workaholic Chairman Of Korean Conglomerate Writes Book on Work

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					60 - Savannah News-Press • Sunday, January 21, 1990
                                                                                           Financial
                                               The New Greek Shipping Tyo • Itns
                                               Dashing Image
                 llehchrund
                                               Replaced With
  To Preserve                                  Computer Savvy
                                                 EDITOR'S NOTE. The legend of the
  And Develop                                  Greek shipping tycoons began earlier this
                                               century with the "sea wolves," sea captains
                                               who acquired vast fleets, dynamic mag-
  Is the Thing                                 nates with business savvy and a gambler's
                                               touch. Their lives and loves were chronicled
                                               on the front pages of the world press. Now a


  P
             RESERVATIONISTS and
             developers make strange           new breed is at the helm, introducing mod-
             bedfellows.                       ern business practices, and much of the ad-
                 Developers many times         venture has been lost.
   think preservationists don't like
   anything new. On the other hand,            By MARY BETH SHERIDAN
   preservationists think developers too       The Associated Press
   often view historic treasures as old
   junk in the way of progress.                    PIRAEUS, Greece - They were the
       That is the perception. And that         Golden Greeks, fiercely independent men
   perception has ruled Savannah. After         who controlled the world's snipping,J>uilt
   six months of reporting Savannah's           lush island paradises and married~societyrir      TYCOON ATMOSPHERE: Plants abound the modern offices of the Thenamaris Ships Management Inc., in Piraeus, Greece
   business news, the issue intrigues me        most glamorouswomen.
    - as it has fascinated other reporters.        Aristotle Onassis, Stavros Niarchos and        magazine Naftiliaki.                              Parliament.                                         "We have round tables, where everyone
       Historic Savannah Foundation,            their contemporaries are still revered in Pi-         Some of the change of style in Greek              One example of the new Greek tycoon is      feels equal. We tried to make it as friendly
   Savannah's original preservation             raeus, base of the powerful Greek shipping        shipowning is due to the crisis that hit the      Thanasis Martinos, whose family founded         as possible," Vordonis says. "In addition to
   force, may be on the verge of changing       industry. But today a new tycoon is succeed-      industry from 1975 to 1987, stemming from         Thenamaris. Hailed as the "Mozart of ship-      achieving efficiency, you must have people
  this perception.                              ing them: the young businessman who               overbuilding of ships and competitive             ping" for his precociousness, Martinos en-      working in a high tone/'
      HSF's recent sale of its tour division    shuns publicity and knows computers as            freight-rate cutting at a time of stagnating      tered the business as a teen-ager when his          In addition to keeping a lower profile at
  established one thing - preservation is       well as compasses.                                world trade. This bustling port near Athens       mother and her brothers - a shippinglaw-        the office, the new tycoons avoid publicity in,
  just as much a business as is                    "Twenty years ago, a shipowner was             is still haunted by memories of proud ship-       yer and a sea captain - bought their first      their private lives. Gone are the days when
  developing skyscrapers.                       treated like a god," said Diamantis               owners losing their vessels to creditors.         ship.                                           Niarchos and Onassis competed in the pub-
      In an incredibly clever business          Diamantides, who controls 25 ships. "Now              Diamantides, 42, who began buying ships           Martinos worked with the firm while         lic eye, building ever-bigger yachts and pur-
  transaction, HSF sold its daily tour          he's a simple person."                            in 1975 after working in shipping offices,        studying economics in London. Now 40, he        chasing islands they turned into paradises
  schedules and routes, but kept its               The Greek shipping tradition is thou-          says old-time magnates could get bank             and his two brothers head Thenamaris,           with imported trees and exotic birds.
  name in the forefront by continuing the      sands of years old, a product of the coun-         loans on the strength of their names.             which runs 55 ships itself and manages              Onassis dominated gossip columns
  training of tour guides.                     try's entrepreneurial talent and its kinship           "Now you have to convince them with           about 20 for other people.                      through his affair with opera singer Maria!
      Further, the foundation made sure        with the sea, which is within 50 miles of al-      your figures," he said.                               Vordonis, the director of the firm, says    Callas and later marriage to Jacqueline
 it kept partial control of the profitable     most any part of Greece.                               Business practices also have changed          the older generation "had the risk ap-          Kennedy, while Niarchos married, among
 group tour business. With the                     The legend of the Greek tycoon began           with the infusion of a different kind of ship-    proach, the hard-work approach, the entre-      others, Charlotte Ford, daughter of car-
 foundation's national contacts to other       earlier this century with the "sea wolves,"        owner - either entrepreneurs from indus-          preneurial approach to bringing resources       maker Henry Ford.
 preservation groups, HSF still can            sea captains who acquired fleets. It reached       try or construction attracted by a potential      together that were difficult to bring togeth-       Today's shipowners keep elegant villas
 invite them to the<city and host              its personification in Niarchos and Onassis,       fortune, or the children of traditional ship-     er."                                            with swimming pools in Athens' northern
 elaborate tours and parties at a charge       volatile, dynamic magnates with business           owners, who have received advanced de-                Now, he says, shipowners rely on high-      suburbs and vacation getaways on the
 that will boost HSF's coffers.                savvy and a gambler's touch, whose lives           grees in business or engineering at British       speed information relayed by computers,         Greek islands, as well as homes in London,
      Not a bad piece of work; This            and loves were chronicled on the front             or American universities.                         tight cost control and a team approach.         Switzerland or Monte Carlo.
 transaction should once and for all rid       pages of the world press.                              "The new generation of managers has a             Where old-style magnates used to make           Whether the new tycoons will achieve the
 anyone of the romantic notion that                Many of the newer managers have main-          different investment approach," said Dimi-        most decisions, sometimes screaming down        success of their predecessors is still an open
 preservationists don't know how to talk       tained their predecessors' passion for the         tri Krondiras, the local director of Citibank,    cowering subordinates, the modern entre-        question.
 business.                                     sea and their strong preference for family-        the major lender for Greek ship purchases.        preneurs are trying to attract and rely on          Many firms are still run by the older gen-
      As a matter of fact, HSF has been        run firms. But they are increasingly making        "This new generation perceives that invest-       technical experts to keep up with a fast-       eration, with their sons or daughters wait-
  talking with Savannah's business             longer-term investments, imposing modern           ment in shipping is high-risk." .                 moving, efficient, more high-tech field.        ing in the wings to test newer (business strat-
  community - a welcome change from            business practices and buying newer, high-             Because of that gamble, some shipown-             "In order to achieve, you need technol-     egies.                       • "*"
  this perception of preservationists and      tech ships.                                        ers have diversified into oil, banking or ho-     ogy, modern management techniques,"                 And while the younger managers may
   businessmen going at one another's             "We're tending toward structured com-           tel chains. Others are trying to cater more       Vordonis says. "You go into how to manage       have more sophisticated economic ap-
   throats.                                    panies in corporate form as opposed to per-         to the changing market, purchasing newer,        people."                                        proaches, shipowning is still highly risky
       An increasingly concerted effort by     sonality-driven, Onassis-type companies,"           more customized ships,                               A glance at the Thenamaris offices illus-   and dependent on many outside factors,
  members of the Historic Savannah             said Emmanuel A. Vordonis, director of                  A few shipowners are even beginning to        trates the change. Unlike the traditional      such as wars and the price of oil.
  Foundation to try to understand the          Thenamaris Ships Management Inc.                    raise money by opening their companies to        rough-and-tumble offices tucked along the           Anastassopoulos says the new shipping
  goals and needs of the business                 Until recently, Greeks owned the world's         outside investment and floating shares on        Piraeus waterfront, Thenamaris is a gleam-      executives go to the best schools and are
  community has led Savannah's first           largest merchant fleet. The Japanese are            the stock market -previously "a kind of          ing, glass-and-concrete ring in a lush          better prepared than their predecessors.
  preservation organization on a new           now No. 1 but Greece is close behind, with          heresy in Greek shipowning," says George         coastal suburb. Sunlight pours into an airy     But, he adds, "Whether they will be as intel-
  course emphasizing that preservation         82 million tons of cargo-carrying capacity,         Anastassopoulos, the former head of the          core; water trickles through leafy plants in    ligent and adventurous as their fathers re-
  can't survive on its own merits.             according to the authoritative shipping             Transport Commission in the European             a central atrium.                               mains to be seen."
      "Preservation and economic
  development have to go hand in hand,"
  said Stephanie D. Churchill, executive
  director of the HSF, during a recent
  interview. "It's clear we need
  development in the city."
                                               Workaholic Chairman
      HSF, founded in 1955, has reached
  the crossroads, at which a perception
  as anti-development, hard-core
  preservationists may evolve into a role
                                               Of Korean Conglomerate
  as a facilitator that will work with the
  city's business interests in enhancing a
  historic district with compatible
  development to create a new dynamic
                                               Writes Book on Work
                                               By KELLY TUNNEY
  historic Savannah.
      In the foundation's recently             The Associated Press                               'Nothing comes free in this
  published annual report, Ms. Churchill           SEOUL, South Korea - The national              life and nothing is accidental.
  tells members that "we must learn
  about, or devise, the new tools for
                                               best seller is written by the founder of one of    The more you dig, the deeper
                                               South Korea's largest conglomerates, an un-        the hole. And the deeper the
  preservation."                               abashed workaholic who says he shaves and
      "Clearly, the future of Savannah's       eats breakfast in his car to save time.            hole the more water from the
  historic district is tied to providing           Kim Woo-jung heads Daewoo Group,
  opportunities for economic                   maker of products ranging from Leading
                                                                                                  well. That's what it's all
  development compatible with                  Edge computers to Pontiac LeMans exports           about.'
   preservation objectives," said Ms.          to the U.§. market. Kim says he wrote the                         - Kim Woo-jung
  Churchill in the report.                     book to tell young people how to find inspi-
     The foundation already has                ration and direction in life. Or as the sug-                        Entrepreneur
  embarked on its mission to cooperate         gested title for the English version suggests,
  with Savannah's business community           "Work!!!"                                         last spring.
     several months ago, it entered with           In South Korea, one of the fastest grow-           "My generation didn't eat well and
  the Savannah Area Chamber of                 ing Asian countries, the drive to succeed couldn't dress well, but look at the Korea
  Commerce an agreement to create              and make money is a passion. Kim's posi- that we've built," he says, advising young
  L'ptown Savannah, whose prime                tion as head of a conglomerate with 1988 people not to become smug by the country's
  objective will be to revitalize              sales of $17.2 billion hasn't hurt his credibili- new consumerism and leisure time.
  Broughton Street.                            ty as an author.                                       "Days are too short for me," he writes.
      "What we have in Uptown                      "Nothing comes free in this life and noth- "I wish they were 30 or 40 hours long. I
  Savannah is a marrying of all                ing is accidental," writes Kim, 53-year-old sometimes shave and wash with a towel in
  interests." said David Young, who            father of four. "The more you dig, the deep- the car on the way to work. I even occasion-
  recently stepped out as the president of     er the hole. And the deeper the hole the ally have breakfast in the car."
  the Savannah Area Chamber of                 more water from the well. That's what it's             He holds staff meetings before or after
  Commerce. "A more coordinated                all about."                                        the regular workday and prides himself that
  approach is a better one "                       More than 900,000 copies of "It's a Big at Daewoo, which means "Big House" in
      HSF President Joseph A. Webster          World and There's Lots to be Done" have Korean, a 9 to 5 workday can mean 5 a.m.
  Jr called the cooperative effort             been published since it came out last Au- until 9 p.m.
  between his group and the Chamber            gust. By this month the book was in its 89th           "Wasting time is worse than wasting
    most significant and the first time        printing.                                          money, for you can always make more mon-
  the groups have worked together to               South Korea's largest bookstore named it ey." says Kim. "When it comes to making
  such a degree                                one of the five best sellers of the decade         money. I'm an expert."
      • I think there is a change. For          Daewoo says it has even sold the rights to a          As founder and chairman of Daewoo,
  years, we tended to think of the              professor in China for a Chinese version.         Kim oversees 70 overseas offices and 93,000
  foundation as the gurus of the Historic          Although the book has been translated employees involved in trade, construction,
  District, while the Chamber was               into English, Daewoo is looking for a U.S. shipbuilding, the manufacture of cars, in-
  thinking of promoting tourism in the          publisher, and negotiations are under way dustrial robots, telecommunications, con-
  historic district                             for publication in other countries                 sumer electronic products, textiles and
        What has happened is that there is         The 211-page paperback sells for 1450           home appliances                                  WORKAHOLIC AUTHOR: Kim Woo-jung, chairman and founder of the South Ko-
  a gradual awakening by everyone              and features 39 essays with pithy fatherly             The book skips over the ways Daewoo           rean conglomerate Daewoo Group, autographs a copy of his best-seller for young
  involved that you can't distinguish and      advice on school, working women, choice of          rose from a small textile exporter to the        reader
 separate these roles said Young               jobs, relationships and making money                world's 46th largest industrial company in
        If there wasn't a feeling of              His commentary is full of personal anec-         22 years, omitting mention of its ties to past      He advises Korean women to stamp out         says. "If everyone's an egoist, then there's
 «*>r*>ration in fostering commercial >        dotes ranging from his school life i "not ex-       authoritarian governments, low wages,            sex discrimination by considering a job pro-    always going to be trouble."
 development, then I am glad it is there       emplary" i to religion i "better than not hav-      easy bank credit and protectionist barriers      fessionally, not "a bus stop on the way to          He recommends forming close lifetime
 now If t'ptown Savannah is coming             ing one' ' to observations on why nations in        that allowed Daewoo and other conglomer-         marriage."                                      friendships, a code followed closely among
 across as t h a t , that's good said HSF      southern Europe waste so much time nap-             ates to grow-                                       "You have to find places that people         Korean businessmen who often judge each
 ^ ice president Walton K Nussbaum             ping                                                     There s a frantic trend nowadays to         have never been to and you have to do           other by the schools they've attended.
 *ho is leading the Uptown Savannah               Kim says he doesn t exercise, takes no           think only in terms of immediate profits."       things that people haven't done before." he         Although Kim exalts nonstop work, he
 effort                                        vacations, sleeps five hours a night and            Kim writes "People are looking for comfort       advises both sexes "Of course there's dan-      encourages day-dreams "Dreams are like
                                               spends the rest of the time working and             and satisfaction rather than having a fight-     ger in pioneering Pioneers take paths that      the rudder of a ship setting sail. The rudder
 • See HISTORIC, Page 80                       making business deals He wrote the book             ing spirit to overcome difficulties and suc-     haven't been paved."                            may be small and unseen, but it controls the
                                               nights while w a i t i n g out a shipyard strike    ceed in the long run "                               "There is too much egocentncism." he        ship's course."

				
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