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Paul ONeal Former Chairman and CEO Alcoa Inc Paul ONeill was chairman and CEO of Alcoa from 1987 to 1999 and retired as chairman at the end of 2000 Prior to joining Alcoa ONeill was President of International Paper Company from 1985 to 1987 where he was vice president from 1977 to 1985 Mr ONeill was born in Saint Louis Missouri on December 4 1935 He received a bachelors degree in Economics from Fresno State College in California and a masters degree in Public Administration from Indiana University Mr ONeill and his wife Nancy live in Pittsburgh where they have four children and 12 grandchildren Mr ONeills greatest achievement for Alcoa was to transform an old and bureaucratic organization into a new business-unit driven corporation with over 140000 employees spread across 36 nations In June 1987 when Mr ONeill arrived in Alcoa he warned the existing managers that they would be judged by how well they met his numbers however he did not set the organizations goals by the criteria that CEOs traditionally use such as profit margins sales growth rates or share appreciation Mr ONeills goal was to eliminate time lost to employees injuries therefore making Alcoa the safest company in the world Alcoas rates of time lost due to employees injuries was already below the nations average however this new emphasis on safety changed Alcoas culture forever Managers and line employees participated shoulder to shoulder in creating and implementing programs to make their workplace safer and more ergonomic strategies were developed to train the work force in better more efficient ways to perform their daily duties and as a result productivity began rising and job related injuries dropped considerably Within a few years Mr ONeills commitment to safety won over labor unions forced managers to measure up and got employees used to meeting benchmarks Maybe he hasnt always told me what Ive wanted to hear said George Becker president of the
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