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Pierre S DuPont was born near Wilmington Delaware in 1870 Twenty years later he graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT with a chemistry degree and began working in the DuPont family business He became an assistant superintendent at Brandywine Mills and two years later Pierre and his cousin Francis G DuPont developed and patented the first American-made smokeless gunpowder at the Carneys Point plant in New Jersey During the 1890s Pierre worked at the Johnson Company which was a steel firm partly owned by the DuPont family Here he learned a great deal about cost accounting and financial management from the companys president Arthur Moxham He left briefly to join his cousin Coleman DuPont in his street railway business in 1899 but he was soon back in the family business when the patriarch of the family Eugene DuPont died in 1902 On the firms 100th anniversary it was about to go out of business and had no successor for president Several DuPonts wanted to sell the company off but Alfred the youngest son would not hear of it He joined with two of his cousins Coleman and Pierre and bought the company in one of the first modern large scale leveraged buyouts for 12 million The company was poorly run at the time but the three partners managed to keep the company in business Pierre oversaw the restructuring of the DuPont Company as chief of financial operations He created a centralized hierarchical management structure developed complex accounting and market forecasting techniques and pushed for diversification and emphasis on RD During this time he introduced the principle of return on investment return on assets and return on equity as methods for determining the financial stability of a company and when World War 1 started he began a period of incredible expansion that was financed through advance payments on Allied munitions contracts Pierre was president from 1915 to 1919 and his expansion included manufacturing of
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