Controversial ex-CEO Alfred J. Dunlap, dubbed “Chainsaw Al” for his cost-cutting at companies including Boca Raton-based Sunbeam, died Saturday at 81 at his home in Ocala.
Florida State University in Tallahassee, to which Dunlap and his wife Judy contributed more than $40 million, announced the former CEO’s death. He died after a short illness, FSU said.
Known as "Chainsaw Al," Dunlap became infamous in the business world as a ruthless corporate downsizer while CEO of companies like Scott Paper. He's been successfully sued by everyone from the Securities and Exchange Commission to his own shareholders over accounting fraud, and once physically attacked a critic. Dunlap retired in Ocala, Florida, and he and his wife have given $15 million to Seminole athletic facilities. (Dunlap, a West Point grad, never attended FSU.)
Over his 37-year career in business, Dunlap was chairman and chief executive officer of nine major corporations on three continents, including Lily-Tulip, Kimberly-Clark and Scott Paper.
The Dunlaps also owned a home at Mizner Estates in Boca Raton, which they purchased for $3 million in 2012. He graduated from West Point in 1960, the first in his family to graduate from college. He spent three years in the military as a paratrooper and an executive officer of a nuclear missile site, according to FSU’s news release. He met Judy in 1966 while working in Wisconsin.more » « less