Chief Executive Officer, Oshkosh Truck (retired)
Dr. Goodson’s experience includes significant leadership positions in university, government, and industrial environments. He was Chief Scientist of the U.S. Department of Transportation during the first energy crises. He led Purdue University’s interdisciplinary research institute through its initial development to a position of national prominence in manufacturing, transportation, energy, and bioengineering and biomedical research. He has published over thirty refereed journal publications.
Moving to industry in 1981, He led Johnson Control’s automotive seating business from a $150 million build-to-print automotive supplier to a $1.3 billion international tier one leader. In this position, he was responsible for building over thirty-five new JIT plants that epitomized lean manufacturing best practices.
As Chairman and CEO of Oshkosh Truck Corporation, he led the company’s transformation from a single-product defense contractor to the market leadership position in two commercial specialty segments—fire trucks and concrete ready-mix trucks and equipment. The company also enhanced its position as the premier supplier of heavy military tactical trucks to the military during his tenure. He also led the company through a quality and productivity transformation culminating in ISO 9001 Certification.
All during his university, government, and industrial careers Dr. Goodson has focused on the change process especially enjoying manufacturing and process industry changes. He has visited plants all over the world whenever the opportunity arose. The concepts of lean manufacturing, visual management, and reliance on empowered and motivation people to improve both themselves and their organization have been major tenets of his management philosophy.
During his “retirement” years, Dr. Goodson is committed to interacting with people who desire to change and improve operations. He is currently Adjunct Professor in Operations Management at the University of Michigan Business School where he teaches operations management, Lean Manufacturing, and rapid plant assessment.