General Motors Corp., Detroit
After selling his Hyatt Roller Bearing Co. to a struggling General Motors in 1916 and assuming the GM presidency, this trained draftsman installed his revolutionary "standard procedures" concept. His market-oriented rules for defining management effectiveness enabled GM to overtake Henry Ford's auto company. Sloan's experiences, theories and personal customer-based research inspired marketing strategy and led to the separate Chevrolet, Buick, Oldsmobile and Cadillac lines aimed at different consumer pocketbooks and tastes. Through his customer-oriented management philosophy and labor policies, Sloan's GM became a symbol of U.S. industrial leadership.