Engineering Corporate Success: A Memoir

Appearance Date: 11/5/2021

From growing up on the banks of the Ohio River during the Great Depression to acquiring executive management roles at large international companies, James Hardymon’s life has been full of twists, turns, hard work, and achievement. During his career, Hardymon helped build corporations as a CEO, learned the ropes of Wall Street, and interacted with US presidents and congressional leaders. As a result, he acquired a keen, first-hand understanding of corporate America, which propelled his reputation as a well-respected leader. Engineering Corporate Success traces Hardymon’s personal story and career trajectory—including his childhood, college years at the University of Kentucky, service in the US Army, and his time employed in some of the highest-level executive positions in America. Based on a series of interviews conducted by Terry L. Birdwhistell for the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, the book reveals Hardymon’s maxims for success, experiences of rising through the corporate ranks, and key insights into how business decisions are made in an increasingly international environment. Hardymon also discusses the importance of philanthropy, his philosophy of giving back, and his close relationship with the University of Kentucky. This well-rounded work provides a forthright description of the rewards and challenges that come with balancing a prosperous personal and professional life.

Meet the Author

James Hardymon

James Franklin Hardymon, born in Maysville, Kentucky, on Veterans Day 1934, earned BA and MA degrees in engineering from the University of Kentucky. He began his career with the Browning Manufacturing Company in Maysville in 1961, following two tours of duty in the US Army. He then served in various executive positions at Emerson Electric before becoming CEO of Textron, Inc., a $10 billion global, multi-industry company with market-leading operations in aircraft, automotive, industrial, and finance. He retired in 1999.

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