How Thomas Amato helped Metaldyne bounce back from tough times Featured

8:01pm EDT June 30, 2011
Thomas Amato Thomas Amato

Things were not looking good at Metaldyne when Thomas Amato was named president and CEO in January 2008. The global automotive supplier was overleveraged, burdened by high infrastructure costs and battling with internal investment philosophies. And to top it all off, the market was in a state of decline.

But Amato didn’t want to hear excuses. He immediately challenged the organization with a vision he called “The Plan to Win.” His goal was for the company to become cash flow positive again.

One of the problems Amato faced was that employees were unaware that the company was in such dire straits. So he opened the lines of communication and got more information flowing to employees, both through regular updates on the company’s website with visits to locations within the organization. He worked with members of his senior leadership team to write the company’s vision and core principles so that everyone would be aware of the goals.

Amato wanted to focus on cultural integrity, social responsibility, entrepreneurial spirit and enhanced value creation, the pillars that would support the company and serve as the foundation for everything he wanted to do. He also took steps to correct the company’s balance sheet by reducing debt and deleveraging, putting Metaldyne in the position of being able to invest in new opportunities

It wasn’t always easy, especially with the automotive crisis of 2009. He had to make tough decisions about divesting or closing noncore operations and choices about other areas of operation. But Amato made those choices, kept his people informed and ultimately led the business through to the other side.

He still conducts plant visits and provides regular updates to employees with the idea that, through hard work, he won’t have to face those tough decisions again.

How to reach: Metaldyne, (734) 207-6200 or www.metaldyne.com