10 Things You Didn’t Know about Navistar International CEO Troy A. Clarke

Troy A. Clark Navistar CEO

Troy A. Clarke is the current CEO, President, and Chairman of the Board for Navistar International Corporation. For those who are unfamiliar, said corporation owns a number of businesses that specialize in a number of products and services. First, those businesses make buses and trucks. Second, those businesses make diesel engines for various kinds of vehicles. Third, those businesses provide both parts and services for the people who have bought those products. Under Clarke’s leadership, Navistar International has been seeing something of an improvement compared to the not too distant past. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about Troy A. Clarke:

1. Went to Kettering University

Education-wise, Clarke went to Kettering University when it was still called General Motors Institute, For those who are unfamiliar, Kettering University is a private university that specializes in both STEM and business. The school is named for Charles F. Kettering, who was once the head of research for General Motors. Moreover, it is important to note that Kettering was a big believer in the power of experiential learning, which is something that can be seen throughout the school’s curricula.

2. Studied Mechanical Engineering

Subject-wise, Clarke studied mechanical engineering, which is so broad that mechanical engineers can be found in a bewildering range of businesses. However, Clarke’s career as a mechanical engineer seems to have seen him specialize in vehicles, as shown by the fact that he heads up a corporation that specializes in manufacturing them.

3. Joined Up with General Motors When He Was a Student

As stated earlier, Kettering University has a huge emphasis on experiential learning, so it should come as no surprise to learn that co-op is a critical part of its curricula. Due to this, Clarke joined up with the Pontiac Motor Division of General Motors when he was still a co-op student, with the result that he went on to reach higher and higher positions with wider and wider responsibilities over the course of a 35-year career at said corporation.

4. Has Plenty of International Business Experience

While he was with General Motors, Clarke managed to reach some very high-up positions. In particular, it is interesting to note that some of those positions were responsible for General Motors’s operations in international markets. For example, he was once the person responsible for overseeing manufacturing in Mexico before rising up to oversee the full range of operations in Mexico. Likewise, he was once the person responsible for the Asia Pacific region.

5. Topped Out As President of General Motors North America

Eventually, Clarke retired from General Motors in 2009. By that point in time, he had reached the position of President of General Motors North America, which speaks volumes about the responsibilities that had been placed upon him. Moreover, it is interesting to note that Clarke was a Vice President for the General Motors Group as well.

6. Joined Up with Navistar International In a Familiar Position

Amusingly, Clarke got his start at Navistar International with a position that should have been more than a bit familiar for him. After all, his first position with his new employer was President of Navistar Asia Pacific in 2010, which is presumably something that his previous experience with the region helped him with. In any case, while Clarke was in said position, he was responsible for overseeing the growth of Navistar International’s operations in said market, which would have been a rich source of potential revenues.

7. Witnessed Not One But Two Disasters

It can be said that Clarke has witnessed not one but two corporate disasters over the course of his career. One would be the events that resulted in General Motors needing to be bailed out, which resulted in his being one of the metaphorical heads that needed to roll. The other would be the fallout of a botched truck engine, which saw Navistar International losing considerable ground to its competitors. Furthermore, it saw the rise of Clarke within the corporation’s top leadership.

8. Had to Juggle Multiple Problems

As the leader of an embattled Navistar International, Clarke had to juggle multiple problems. For example, the corporation ran into a serious cash shortage because of falling sales as well as repair and repurchase costs for the vehicles that were related to the engine issue. As a result, Clarke had to tighten up management for the corporation’s cash, which in turn, meant that he had to bring in new expertise because the necessary skills couldn’t be found at the corporation. Likewise, Clarke had to trim the executive team, which at that point in time, had consisted of 60 vice presidents plus three very well-paid consultants. After Clarke had finished up that bit of reform, the number of vice presidents had been brought down to around 20 while the number of consultants had been brought down to zero.

9. Had to Tackle Serious Cash Problem

The seriousness of the cash problem at Navistar International can’t be emphasized enough. In fact, it was so bad that Clarke and the rest of the top leadership decided that if the corporation’s cash reserves ever dropped below $500 million, they would have to start looking into reorganization while in bankruptcy. That never happened, but Clarke still had to engage in some serious reforms to salvage the situation, with an excellent example being getting rid of various semi-independent business segments that were using up more cash than what Navistar International could sustain in the long run.

10. Earned a Profit in 2017

With that said, Clark’s time at the head of Navistar International seems to have paid off, seeing as how the corporation managed to earn a profit in 2017. Due to the wide range of problems that had befallen the corporation, that couldn’t have happened without a wide range of successes that included both building better relationships with the workforce and repairing the damaged relationship with the customer base.

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