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Alfred P. Sloan
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Entrepreneur
    (May 23, 1875-February 17, 1966)
    Born in New Haven, Connecticut
    Graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1895)
    President and owner of Hyatt Roller Bearing until its merger with other companies into United Motors Company, which soon joined General Motors Corporation, or GM (1899-1916)
    President (1923-1937), CEO (1923-1946), and Chairman (1937-1956) of GM
    Established the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, a philanthropic non-profit foundation that focuses on science and technology, standard of living, economic performance, and education (1934)
    Co-founded the American Liberty League (1934)
    Wrote 'Adventures of a White-Collar Man' (with Boyden Sparkes, 1941) and 'My Years with General Motors' (1964)
    Received the Hundred Year Association of New York's Gold Medal Award (1951)
    Inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame (1975)
    Namesake of the Alfred P. Sloan Prize, which awards movies with science and technology as a theme each year at the Sundance Film Festival since 2003
    James O'Toole criticized his overly rational organization for prioritizing 'policies, systems, and structures over people, principles, and values', resulting in a culture resisting change.
    He was also criticized for being a cold-hearted, avaricious plutocrat.
    The replacement of public city transport streetcars with buses was attributed to him.
    He once abandoned his wife on the first day of a vacation in Europe to return to business in Detroit.
    He opposed Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal.
    He and GM supplied Nazi Germany with war equipment, and defended his practices as merely profitable and sound.
    The accounting system he implemented on GM has been criticized for being complicated and preventing lean manufacturing methods.
    He was a rational, shrewd, and very successful manager who turned GM from a loose cluster of business units into one of the largest business corporations in the world.
    He decentralized production, giving more freedom of initiative to each operating division, while centralizing administration, allowing better coordination of company policies.
    His model for GM was so successful that it was adopted by other corporations.
    He was the youngest member of his graduating class in MIT.
    He correctly predicted a post-war economic boom in America after World War II when other economists predicted an economic disaster.
    His foundation has established business and medical schools in universities.
    He donated $4 million to establish the Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research. (1945)

Credit: Big Lenny


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