If success in business can be defined as one-tenth ability and nine-tenths being in the right place at the right time, Mark Swartz seemed to have long been blessed with an internal corporate global positioning system. At a time when Dennis Kozlowski, then president and COO of Tyco International Ltd., was beginning his quest for acquisitions, Swartz was working as a senior audit manager, doing due diligence consulting for the accounting firm of Deloitte & Touche. There, he ended up evaluating some of Tyco's early acquisitions. Catching Kozlowski's eye, he was hired in 1991 by Tyco to assemble an M&A team. Within four years, Kozlowski had promoted Swartz, then 35, to CFO of the fast-growing conglomerate.

Not bad for a guy who graduated in 1981 from the University of California at San Diego with a B.A. in liberal arts and whose financial training seems limited to the CPA accreditation he earned in 1984.

Falling Out of Favor

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