Gary Heerssen - HoF

Summary : Gary Heerssen: Manufacturing hero with a focus on people and capital

Gary Heerssen
died on
December 20, 2004

Gary Heerssen (2012): Manufacturing hero with a focus on people and capital

  • Gary was driven by the principle of knowing how to spend money to make money – often leaving cost in the back seat, but never profits
    • As diffusion section manager at Texas Instruments MOS 11 in Houston, he insisted on engineering content for all shifts
    • Resulted in soaring yields at MOS 11, more than paying for the added expense
  • In 1991, Gary implemented a long-term vision at AMD called “Journey to Excellence.” The four cornerstones of Journey to Excellence are:
    1. Systems for better control
    2. People educated and empowered
    3. Detect problems before they are a problem
    4. Organizational structure that is modular rather than hierarchical
  • This was at core of how AMD competed globally against far larger competitors with far greater resources
  • Gary Heerssen’s legacy leaves many lessons to be learned at a time when America is again experiencing major challenges to its leadership

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