10 Things You Didn’t Know about Paccar CEO Ronald E. Armstrong

Ronald Armstrong is the current CEO of Paccar, which is a U.S. corporation that manufactures commercial vehicles for customers situated throughout the world. However, it should be mentioned that Paccar has other products and services as well, which include some that bear little relation to its primary line of business. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about Ronald Armstrong:

1. Ronald Comes from Old Norse

Ronald comes from the Old Norse Rögnvaldr. In some cases, Ronald comes from the Gaelic Raghnall, but it should be mentioned that said name comes from Rögnvaldr as well. Regardless, Rögnvaldr can be separated into two elements regin and valdr, with regin meaning either “advice” or “decision” and valdr meaning “ruler.”

2. Armstrong Comes from a Middle English Nickname

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Armstrong comes from a Middle English nickname for someone who possessed strong arms. However, it is interesting to note that it was chosen as the Anglicization of a couple of Gaelic names, which mean “son of a strong man” and “strong O’Lavery.”

3. Studied at University of Central Oklahoma

Education-wise, Armstrong studied at the University of Central Oklahoma, which can be found in Edmond, OK. It isn’t the biggest institution of higher education in said state, it is notable in that it was one of the first to be established in not just Oklahoma but also the rest of the Southwestern United States.

4. Studied Accounting

In school, Armstrong studied accounting, which doesn’t have the best reputation but is nonetheless a versatile field with enormous importance in the world of business. After all, accounting is what makes it possible for interested individuals to understand what is going on at a business, thus enabling them to make the right decisions based on the right information. Never mind accounting’s other fundamental uses.

5. Is a CPA

Speaking of which, Armstrong is a CPA, which stands for a Certified Public Accountant. The exact nature of said status can see a fair amount of variation from place to place, but in essence, it means that the holder possesses the expertise and experience needed to be trusted with a wide range of accounting tasks. In some U.S. states, people can’t call themselves accountants without holding either a CPA or something very similar.

6. Served in a Number of Positions at Paccar

Over the course of his career, Armstrong has served in a number of positions at Paccar. Initially, those positions were concerned with accounting, but over time, his responsibilities have become broader and broader, which is perhaps unsurprising considering his current position as its CEO.

7. Did a Good Job with Financial Services

It is interesting to note that Paccar offers financial services to various parties. Moreover, one of the things that raised Armstrong’s profile is his capable handling of the financial services segment during the Great Recession, which was a very challenging task for not just said segment but also Paccar as a whole.

8. Runs a Cyclical Business

Simply put, Paccar is a very cyclical business in the sense that it moves in tune with the economic times. When economies are booming, its sales are strong; whereas when economies are busting, well, suffice to say that it suffers corresponding effects throughout its revenue-earning operations. Due to this, capable handling of recessions is one of the skills that members of Paccar’s senior leadership need to have.

9. Unexpected Choice

With that said, Armstrong was very much an unexpected choice for the CEO of Paccar. In part, this is because his predecessor had given no indication that he was looking for a successor, meaning that the choice came as something of a shock. For that matter, it should be mentioned that Armstrong’s predecessor was just one year older than him, which added to the surprise.

10. End of a Dynasty

In a sense, Armstrong’s rise to the position of CEO can be considered the end of a dynasty. In short, Paccar has been run by the Pigott family for most of its existence, which was one more reason why Mark Pigott’s choice to hand the CEO position over to Armstrong came as such a shock. With that said, Pigott influence in the corporation isn’t exactly at an end, as shown by how Mark Pigott is serving as the executive chairman, which is a position that tends to be more involved in the day-to-day operations than most chairmen.


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