Alfred Pritchard Sloan
Alfred Pritchard Sloan was born on the 23rd May 1875 in New Haven, USA and died on the 17th February 1966 in New York, USA. He received his degree in electrical engineering at MIT. He then began working as a designer at the Hyatt Roller Bearing in 1899 and became its president. This company merged with United Motors Company and Sloan remained president of the new company. UMC eventually in 1918 became part of General Motors Corporation and Sloan became its vice president. In 1923 he became president and director of GMC. During his leadership, the GMC has become the largest and most significant car manufacturer in the world.
The main contribution of Alfred P. Sloan for GMC is considered a creation of a divisional organizational structure (SBUs in today’s terminology) and decentralization of its management. GMC consisted of five brands:
Each of them focused on a separate segment of the market. In 1920, Sloan reorganized the company into eight divisions. Each of them was self-responsible for the development, production and sales. The central management coordinated activities of GMC divisions, leaving the oversight of global strategy and finance. The selected method of decision making in the GMC is described in the Sloan’s filter.
Alfred P. Sloan described his life experiences at the end of his life in the book “My Years with General Motors” released in 1963.