Tom Linebarger

Tom Linebarger
Chairman & CEO, Cummins, Inc.

Headquarters: Columbus, Indiana
Primary Business: Diesel and natural
gas engines and related technologies
Revenues: $17.3 billion
Employees: 46,000

Former CEO Inspired Belief in Diversity

both personally and professionally. The diversity of people, their backgrounds and cultures, their perspectives and life experiences, their unique talents and styles, makes both our workplace and our community more interesting, meaningful, and full of greater possibilities. So, I guess it is no surprise that our company’s long-standing commitment to diversity was a key reason I was attracted to Cummins more than twenty years ago.

In fact, I remember the morning I went to the career center at Stanford Business School all those years ago. As I walked into the career center, I had never heard of Cummins before, so I was really starting from scratch. However, shortly after I started reading, I found a picture of our former CEO and Chairman, Irwin Miller, next to his quote about diversity:

In the search for character and commitment, we must rid ourselves of inherited, even cherished biases and prejudices. Character, ability and intelligence are not concentrated in one sex over the other, nor in persons with certain accents, or in certain races, or in persons holding degrees from some universities over others. When we indulge ourselves in such irrational prejudices, we damage ourselves most of all and ultimately assure ourselves of failure in competition with those more open and less biased.

That quote inspired me. And it told me that this company was different. As I read the rest of the material and learned about the values of the leaders I met from Cummins shortly thereafter, I was convinced that this was a company that I wanted to work for and build a career.

Twenty years later, the joy and pride I experience every day as an employee has only grown. I work hard every day to carry on the legacy of commitment to diversity, not only because it is the right thing to do, but it because makes our company better. Whether it is meeting with the over 100 affinity groups that support diversity throughout our company, participating in regular employee town hall meetings on diversity, supporting recruiting and supplier diversity initiatives teams in their good work, or advocating publicly for diversity in our communities, I am proud to lead a company that has made diversity a core company value, and I know our company is great today because we embrace diversity.

Education: BS, Stanford University; BA, Claremont McKenna College; MS, Stanford Graduate School of Business; MBA, Stanford Graduate School of Business
What I’m Reading: There are too many to pick just one.
My Philosophy: My personal values and what drives me every day are based in large part on three things that are most important to me: family, fun, and friendships; fairness and justice; and hard work.