Bernard Kramer remained president of K.A. until his death in April 1882, when he was succeeded by Diego Cortez y Catalán. Sobel does not indicate how Cortez came to succeed Kramer, nor what role he played in the company prior to becoming president. Cortez was twenty-eight when the company was founded, and thus almost certainly too young to be one of Kramer's original partners, though he may have been the son of one of the partners. He may even have been Kramer's nephew, though Sobel makes no mention of a family relationship. On the other hand, Cortez may have simply been an exceptionally able K.A. employee who managed to work his way up to vice-president of the company.
In 1899, following Benito Hermión's invasion of Siberia in the Great Northern War, Cortez began making plans to oust Hermión, and also began grooming Douglas Benedict, the grandson of Petroleum of Mexico founder Monte Benedict, to succeed him, which he did in 1904.
In 1916, Benedict began grooming John Jackson as his successor, a position Jackson struggled against many rivals to win. He appointed Jackson as head of K.A.'s Asian operations in 1923. Despite growing increasingly ill, Benedict continued as president of K.A. until the election of Pedro Fuentes as President of the U.S.M. in 1926.
During the early 1940s, Jackson singled out Carl Salazar, the son and grandson of K.A. employees, as his heir apparent. Like Bernard Kramer, Jackson chose not to retire; instead, he remained president of K.A. until his death on 15 September 1949. Although Sobel does not give Salazar's age, he was apparently born around the turn of the 20th century in San Francisco, and attended college in Jefferson before going to London for graduate work in finance. After joining K.A., Salazar spent two years at Kramer University, a special school in Honolulu open only to company employees, before joining K.A.'s legal department in San Francisco. Salazar was deeply involved in Jackson's restructuring of the company from 1929 to 1933, and traveled to the Philippines in 1935 to prepare for the movement of K.A.'s headquarters there the following year.
Although Salazar is presumably in his early 70's at the time of the writing of For Want of a Nail ..., Sobel makes no mention of any designated successor.
|Presidents of Kramer Associates|
|Bernard Kramer • Diego Cortez y Catalán • Douglas Benedict • John Jackson • Carl Salazar|