Kent J. Thiry, the chief executive of DaVita, a leading provider of dialysis services, regularly dons a Three Musketeers costume at company meetings, brandishes a sword and leads employees in chants of "All for One" and "One for All." At a meeting last year in Dallas, he rode a longhorn bull around the hotel, surrounded by parade floats made by employees, the New York Times reports.

Amid all this boosterism is a combative streak. In a skit presented at a DaVita employee meeting two years ago, a DaVita musketeer killed a federal bureaucrat , dressed in black hat and bandit's mask , who threatened to cut the reimbursement for dialysis. Another musketeer killed a federal prosecutor.

For his part, Mr. Thiry favors a warmer, homier approach at the company's headquarters here. He insists that DaVita is a "village" and that he, as the sign on his office door says, is "KT, Mayor." Office aisles even sport street signs like "Be Our Guest Ln." and "Acquisition Ave."

With the help of such slogans, skits and shtick, Mr. Thiry has rescued DaVita from near collapse and turned it into an enterprise that, he asserts, is becoming "the best dialysis company the world has ever seen." And that, he says, using another expression that his DaVita employees faithfully repeat, is "no brag, just fact."

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