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Byline: John Welbes
Dec. 9--3M Co.'s new chief executive says the marching orders became clear during his interviews with the board of directors earlier this year: Keep growing the company.
"If there's a single thing that people were interested in, that was it," CEO George Buckley said Thursday during an introductory conference call with analysts and reporters.
The question is whether a CEO with a Ph.D. in electrical engineering will favor an approach that fully embraces 3M's bent for innovation or one that's more cost-conscious and intent on increasing profit margins.
Buckley indicated Thursday he wants to strike a balance between 3M's renowned research-and-development efforts and its bottom line.
"3M has a magnificent history of research and development," he said, …