Interpublic Group of Cos., New York
Following its dramatic ouster of Marion Harper Jr. in 1967 -- and after "retiree" Bob Healy's success as savior CEO -- Interpublic Group of Cos.' board chose Geier as the man to continue IPG's remarkable rebuilding program. A McCann-Erickson lifer who began his career fresh out of college in its Cleveland office in 1958, Geier would direct international operations until 1977, when he was elevated to Interpublic president. Geier's management skills and his sensible, timely acquisitions raised publicly held Interpublic to No. 1 among U.S.-based agency groups in two years. His effective, quiet stewardship has given Interpublic an envied reputation for reliability and growth all along Wall Street.