Thornton F. Bradshaw

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Thornton F. Bradshaw (died in 1988), "a leader in American business who became the last chairman of RCA and made his mark in broadcasting by helping to restore NBC to first place among the three major television networks...

"Mr. Bradshaw, after bringing prestige back to NBC and financial health to the RCA Corporation, presided over the $6.3 billion sale of the innovative corporation to another innovative giant, the General Electric Company....

"In 1952, Mr. Bradshaw joined the Cresap, McCormick & Paget, the management consultant in Manhattan, where he started to develop his philosophy of long-range corporate planning. In 1956, he had the opportunity to transform a regional oil company into a conglomerate when he joined the Atlantic Refining Company, which, through a merger in 1966, became the Atlantic Richfield Company. Mr. Bradshaw was president.

"The next year, ARCO was the first to strike oil at Prudhoe Bay on the North Slope of Alaska.

"As the industry was attacked by environmentalists, Mr. Bradshaw, with the support of Robert O. Anderson, a major shareholder and chairman of the executive committee, started the ARCO Foundation, which undertook philanthropic projects....

"When Mr. Bradshaw was selected to head RCA in 1981, he was the fourth chief executive in six years, and his was seen as an interim appointment, as well. His mandate was to bring calm and find a successor to lead the company out of its difficulties. He did both....

"Mr. Bradshaw divested some holdings and turned to Grant Tinker, then president of MTM Productions, to head NBC and return it to health. Mr. Tinker took the network back to first position after several seasons...

"In 1985, Mr. Bradshaw presided over the acquisition of RCA by G.E. He saw the deal as the best hope for preserving jobs in RCA's slow-growing businesses and a way to end the reliance on NBC to support the whole corporation. Mr. Bradshaw remained on the G.E. board and was a consultant at his death.

"He was also chairman of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and a board member of Atlantic Richfield, First Boston Inc. and Brooks Fashion Stores Inc. He was chairman of the Center for Communication, the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies and the Joseph Lauder Institute of Management and International Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, and was a board member of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Japan Society." [1]

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