George A. Schaefer
A trained accountant, Schaefer’s first task as CEO was to dramatically cut costs. Caterpillar’s large, earth-moving products were no longer in high demand as in earlier years, so Schaefer decided to invest in making smaller machines for urban construction projects and cut back on traditional production. Though Schaefer’s plans didn’t return Caterpillar to the extremely profitable position it had previously enjoyed, his hard work at reorganization helped the company turn a profit of $486 million in 1986, its first in four years.

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