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Modernization Continues
By the end of the week, Patterson is throwing away all the broken and unusable products. They include, presumably, some of the cups he botched on the assembly line. Acknowledging the "great nervousness" at the factory, he confesses, "I've had my eyes opened in an amazing way to what people like Yvonne and Karen actually think and feel. I would've never known that, really, through the normal systems of management communication."

But the bottom line's still the bottom line. And Patterson apparently earned his keep, stoking the fires of "progress" and favoring robots over humans. According to Waterford-Wedgwood's corporate Web site, the company earned record profits in 2000. Patterson retired from his CEO post last year. He remains with Wedgwood as a non-executive director.

Brian Patterson
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