The son of a Bryn Mawr professor, George David, who retires this month as chairman of United Technologies Corp., is often likened to a college professor -- intelligent, inquisitive, demanding.
After joining Otis Elevator in 1975, he became its president in 1986 and then president of the parent company in 1992. As UTC's CEO from 1994 through 2008, David brought to the job an eclectic mix of a Japanese-inspired focus on lean processes and productivity, ruthless cost-cutting resulting in thousands of lost jobs while instituting a generous employee education benefit, and a focus on shareholder return while investing in expensive, long-term technology developments such as fuel cells.
During his tenure, UTC's revenues nearly tripled and the company routinely outperformed the Standard & Poor's 500 on total shareholder return.
David turned UTC from a $6 billion U.S.-focused manufacturer to a nearly $60 billion global powerhouse with operations in 71 countries and more than 60% of its sales outside the U.S. David focused UTC on energy conservation, and UTC has reduced its base energy use by 22% and water use by 50% since 1997.
If the story of manufacturing in the 20th century was largely written as the drive for automation, few could claim a greater share of the story than Joseph Engelberger, the “father of robotics.”
In 1956, Engelberger and George Devol founded Unimation Inc., the world's first robotics company, and built the Unimate, the first industrial robot, which was installed in a General Motors die casting operation in 1961.
After selling Unimation to Westinghouse in 1982, Engelberger turned to the health care field, founding Transitions Research Corp., later called HelpMate Robotics. These robots were designed to carry pharmaceuticals and supplies to nurses. Engelberger also has advocated the use of robotics in elder care, telling Electronic Design magazine that a household robot could be a “companion for the elderly or handicapped in the home, one that could do a task like fetch and carry, find things in the fridge, cook and clean, and speak to you in your language.”
In recognition of his contribution to robotics, the Robotic Industries Association presents the Engelberger Robotics Award each year to an individual for excellence in technology development, application, education and leadership in the robotics industry.
After distinguished careers at Litton Industries and Honeywell, George became CEO and chairman of the board of Medtronic.
George transformed the pacemaker manufacturer into a diversified medical technology firm through an aggressive R&D strategy and a series of acquisitions, joint ventures and other moves.
He pushed culture change through more interaction with physicians, patients and hospital personnel, and slashed product development times from 48 months to 15 months.
Under his leadership, Medtronic's market capitalization grew from $1.1 billion to $60 billion, averaging 35% a year. George deliberately set a 10-year limit on his tenure at Medtronic.
Since 2004, he has served as a professor of management practice at Harvard Business School. He and his wife Penny founded the George Family Foundation, which promotes integrative medicine, leadership, spirituality and community initiatives.
"A fundamental rule in technology says that whatever can be done will be done," Andy Grove has said, but his accomplishments are not limited to technology.
After escaping the Hungarian Revolution, he came to the United States, earned a doctorate in chemical engineering and worked at Fairchild Semiconductor before helping to found Intel in 1968.
At Intel, Grove helped drive the company's dramatic growth, encouraging creativity along with a steely attention to detail and rigorous processes. Highly competitive, Grove wrote in his 1992 book, "Only the Paranoid Survive," "I believe that the prime responsibility of a manager is to guard constantly against other people's attacks and to inculcate this guardian attitude in the people under his or her management."
A senior advisor at Intel, Grove served as Intel's CEO from 1987 to 1998 and as its chairman until 2005. He has written more than 40 technical papers and holds several patents on semiconductor devices and technology.
Grove teaches at Stanford University School of Business and heads the Grove Foundation, a private philanthropic organization that supports research on Parkinson's disease.
Chairman of the board of directors of DuPont and former CEO, Chad Holliday sold Conoco, shifted DuPont from basic chemical production to biotechnology and championed sustainability.
Holliday said sustainability was a fundamental business issue for DuPont and would allow it to be "less cyclical, grow faster, incorporate more knowledge content into our offerings and achieve greater productivity."
He also has promoted opportunities for women in the workplace, serving as chair of nonprofit group Catalyst.
After receiving a bachelor of science degree in industrial engineering from the University of Tennessee, Holliday joined DuPont at the company's Old Hickory site in 1970. He held a variety of positions with increasing responsibility, including serving as president and later chairman of DuPont Asia Pacific.
He is chairman of the U.S. Council on Competitiveness and co-authored "Walking the Talk," which sets out the business case for sustainable development and corporate responsibility.
An engineer by training, Iacocca found his true calling in sales and marketing and rose rapidly through the ranks at Ford Motor Co. to become its president at age 46.
Iacocca helped develop the Ford Mustang and Lincoln Continental Mark III, but his considerable ego clashed with Henry Ford II and he was fired in 1978.
The second act of his automotive career brought even more fame and fortune as he engineered the triumphant turnaround of Chrysler Corp. In 1979, Iacocca persuaded President Jimmy Carter and Congress to pass the Chrysler Corp. Loan Guarantee Act, which provided the corporation with $1.5 billion in federal loan guarantees that saved the company and allowed it to produce best-selling new products such as the K-cars and the revolutionary minivan.
While at Chrysler, Iacocca accepted the job of spearheading the restoration of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
Since leaving Chrysler, Iacocca has been an author, consultant, entrepreneur and served numerous charitable organizations, most notably the Iacocca Foundation, which focuses on diabetes research.
In the drive for innovation, few corporate executives rival the track record of Apple CEO Jobs, whose early success with the Mac computer has been followed by the iPod and iPhone, not to mention the iTunes music store and Pixar Animation Studios.
After being ousted from Apple in 1984, Jobs founded NeXT Computer and brought its advanced technology and key personnel to Apple when he rejoined the company in 1996. Jobs quickly pared Apple's product line, improved the balance sheet and then launched in 2001 a series of game-changing products beginning with the iTunes music software.
Jobs' demands for products that combine ease of use and elegance, along with his promotional skills, make him one of today's most admired executives. He has used his penchant for secrecy to Apple's advantage, creating tremendous buzz in advance of product introductions.
Jobs has survived both pancreatic cancer and a liver transplant. At 54, he leads a company with one of the most recognizable brands in the world that is worth more than $170 billion.
Chairman of the Board of Nypro Inc., Lankton's unique career was strongly influenced by a motorcycle tour after his army service through Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
After stints at Stanley Works and DuPont, he joined Nylon Products (renamed Nypro in 1977), a small plastics injection molding company, in 1962 and lead its growth from $600,000 in annual revenue to its current $1 billion.
Lankton changed the company from its regional focus to a global manufacturer, putting facilities close to its customers around the world, investing in advanced robotics and other technologies, and instituting lean manufacturing and sophisticated supply chain and information management programs.
His admiration for working people was reflected in his 1998 sale of his Nypro stock to an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), creating one of the largest U.S. employee-owned companies.
On a 1989 trip to Russia, Lankton purchased his first Russian icon, a piece of religious art. He has since made dozens of trips to Russia and established a plant there. In 2007 he founded the Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton, Mass., which has a collection of some 370 Russian icons housed in a renovated mill building that is solar-powered.
Bold, energetic, incisive, creative. These are just some of the plaudits attributed to Jack Welch, the role model for CEOs in the 1980s and 1990s.
Welch, a chemical engineer, joined General Electric in 1960 and became its youngest vice president in 1972.
In 1981, he began a 20-year tenure as GE CEO during which the company's market capitalization rose from $13 billion to $400 billion.
Welch streamlined GE operations, reduced the workforce by 112,000 in five years (leading to the "Neutron Jack" moniker), put GE in the entertainment business through the acquisition of NBC, steered the company heavily into financial services, championed Six Sigma and combined latitude for GE managers with an insistence that GE businesses be at the top of their market segments.
Few corporate leaders have recognized and developed talent as well as Welch. Since leaving GE, he has written extensively on leadership, taught at the MIT Sloan School of Management and recently invested in Chancellor University, which will offer an online MBA program called the Jack Welch Institute.
For a generation of managers, James Womack represents the Marco Polo of lean, bringing back from Japan reports of a more efficient way of manufacturing products and now-familiar terms such as kaizen, kanban and poka-yoke.
Womack received a bachelor's in political science from the University of Chicago in 1970, a master's degree in transportation systems from Harvard in 1975, and a Ph.D. in political science from MIT in 1982.
From 1975 to 1991, Womack was a research scientist at MIT directing a series of comparative studies of world manufacturing practices. Womack led the research team at MIT's International Motor Vehicle Program that coined the term "lean production" to describe the Toyota Production System.
He is the co-author of such influential bestsellers as "The Machine That Changed the World" and "Lean Solutions." He founded the Lean Enterprise Institute in 1997.
Today, he is busy spreading the lean message to all sectors of the economy and helping companies make the leap from simply employing lean tools to instituting "management systems that can every day, month after month, year after year, deploy these tools and get the results you should be getting."
These 10 manufacturing giants embody the entrepreneurialism, innovation, competitiveness and customer focus that we believe was instrumental in building the American manufacturing sector into a global economic force.
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This would be valid if only colleagues could interact. I have seen many workplaces in large organizations where only management can interact. All infomation must flow through managers. To make it worse the work layout does not support interactions. ... If you want the benefits of co-location you have to have the right management structure and the right physical structure!!!
The story of Apollo 13 is a tale of courage, tenacity, inspired improvisation and technical acumen, but it is also part of an historic manufacturing enterprise.