Not many people count leaving Toyota Motor Corp. as the best career move they ever made. But Bill Taylor does.
The CEO of Mercedes-Benz's Alabama assembly plant says the only thing he ever did that was smarter than leaving Toyota in 1993 was joining it in the first place. In 1987, he departed Ford Motor Co. after 18 years to help run Toyota's new assembly plant in Cambridge, Ontario.
"Having a North American, Japanese and now the European auto experience has been a help, especially now with what's going on in the industry. It's so global," Taylor says. "The world truly has shrunk, so I think I pull on a daily basis from all three of those experiences."
Name: Bill Taylor
Title: CEO, Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Inc.
Lives: Hoover, Ala.
Works: Vance, Ala.
Education: B.A., University of Western Ontario
Family: Married to Andrea, with two adult children and two grandchildren
Big break: Joining Toyota from Ford