George Buckley

When the normally ebullient George Buckley delivers 3M Co.'s fourth-quarter results on Thursday, he risks winding down his career on a feeble note.

The St. Paul, Minn., conglomerate, slowed by weakness in Europe and sluggish demand in some electronics markets, is expected to fall far short of its ambitious sales-growth goals.

That's a setback for Mr. Buckley, a native of Sheffield, England, and 3M's chief executive, who has sought to supercharge the company's shares by touting its growth potential.

The head of industrial conglomerate 3M blasted the president as being "anti-business," claiming Obama has not done anything to improve the White House's relationship with corporate America.

FORTUNE -- 3M is everywhere. That's the point George Buckley, the chairman and CEO of 3M, is trying to make as he talks about his favorite subject, inventing things. Last year, he says, "even in the worst economic times in memory, we released over 1,000 new products."

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