Ford Motor Co. quality guru Bennie Fowler likes to call himself an "industrial athlete." He draws on his athletic background and his role as a youth sports coach as he pushes to get the best out of co-workers.
Fowler, now Ford's vice president of quality, knows that he can be demanding — and suppliers have noticed that, too. One once suggested that a more accurate title for Fowler would be "vice president of ass-kicking."
What does Fowler think of that? Read on.
Name: Bennie Fowler
Home: Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
Title: Vice president of quality
Education: Bachelor's degree in business management from Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio; MBA in operations management from Indiana University
Family: Married to Kelly; two sons and two daughters
Big break: Leaving a job at General Motors to get his graduate degree. That vaulted him to a job at Chrysler. He joined Ford in 1990.