back to list

John D. Nichols

Illinois Tool Works

1982 - 1995

Fabricated Goods

1980 b. 1930
male
EducationTwoDegree
UndergraduateHarvard University
GraduateMBA, Harvard University
Personal
Born-Died1930
BirthplaceChina
RaceWhite
Era - 1980

Though not a name brand, Illinois Tool Works, a manufacturer of component industrial parts, has been recognized by Wall Street and Fortune for superior financial and management performance. Much of that credit is due to Nichols. He established a strong decentralized management structure that promoted innovation, resulting in over 100 new product patents and line extensions. During his tenure as CEO, Nichols generated a tenfold increase in revenues from $450 million to $4.1 billion and regularly achieved 20%+ annual returns on shareholder equity.