The Eskew File Featured

10:27am EDT November 20, 2003
Born: June 28, 1949, Vincennes, Ind.

Education: B.S., Purdue University, industrial engineering; Advanced Management Program, Wharton School of Business

First job: "I worked for my Dad when I was 8 years old. He had his own surveying business, and I made sure that zero was on the zero line."

Career moves: Began his UPS career in 1972 as an industrial engineering manager in Indiana. Held positions of increasing responsibility, including time with UPS's operations in Germany and with UPS Airlines. Named corporate vice president for industrial engineering in 1994, and group vice president for engineering in 1996. Named executive vice president, and a year later was given the additional title of vice chairman in 1999. Assumed the position of chairman and CEO in January 2002.

Boards: Trustee of The UPS Foundation and The Annie E. Casey Foundation; serves on the 3M Corp. board of directors.

Lives: Northern Atlanta

What is the greatest lesson you have learned in business?

The lessons that UPS has taught me. That this is a team, and as long as all the team understands what the vision is and understands what we're trying to accomplish, and you paint that vision clearly, then there's really no limit to what we can accomplish. That's part of it.

You take your job and your family and your community seriously, but not yourself. That's also an important lesson. And UPS has a great teacher in Jim Casey.

What was your greatest business challenge, and how did you overcome it?

There have been a lot of them. As we've changed in this company from the U.S. ground-only delivery in 37 states when I came, to the things we do today, we've had a lot of challenges that we've had to overcome.

I was there when we first moved international. I was on the first team that went to Germany. I was on the first team that built our airline ... I've seen some of the new things that we've done, and the common denominator is really building great UPS teams. It's how you make the best decisions for the company in general, and not just for your own individual area.

Whom do you admire most in business, and why?

I'm the ninth CEO at UPS, so there are eight others I admire. There are 360,000 others that I admire, and those 360,000 UPSers are the best team in the business.