10/15/2012 03:09 pm ET

When The Boss Has Cancer

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David B. Fischer advanced to chief executive of Greif Inc. GEF +0.21% last November, a decade after he contracted a form of melanoma that usually kills within five years.

Mr. Fischer disclosed he was a recent cancer survivor with a poor prognosis before the big industrial-packaging maker offered him a divisional presidency in 2004. The disclosure "showed his forthrightness and honesty," and helped him get picked, said Chairman Michael Gasser, then CEO of Greif.

Read more on The Wall Street Journal