CEO of the Week: Cummins Inc’s N. Thomas Linebarger

In Cummins Inc.’s latest Sustainability Progress Report released this month, chairman and CEO Thomas Linebarger makes a special note to discuss the challenges and opportunities now facing the engine manufacturer amid Covid-19 and efforts to increase social justice.

“The pandemic and protests have revealed a fundamental truth about sustainability: companies and institutions are only as strong as the communities, countries and the world around them,” Linebarger writes. “To be successful for our shareholders over the long run, we must ensure the health and prosperity of all of our stakeholders. … You can count on Cummins to strive for a more prosperous and just world.”

The report details the Columbus, Indiana-based manufacturer’s progress on its environmental strategy, PLANET 2050, which includes science-based goals that meet or exceed the goals in the United Nations’ Paris agreement on climate change. Last year Cummins met three of the company’s 2020 environmental sustainability goals one year early and narrowly missed a fourth.

Cummins’ signature product continues to be diesel engines, but the company is now investing $1 billion in research, development and engineering to bring new products to market fueled by hydrogen and other low-carbon energy sources, according to the report.

Cummins’ New Power segment, which combines the company’s investments in electrified powertrains, fuel cells and hydrogen production technology, completed its first full year in 2019. The group successfully brought zero emissions electrified powertrains to bus markets in North America in 2019, the report states.

Cummins also has more than 2,000 fuel cell installations across a variety of on and off highway applications, as well as more than 500 electrolyzer installations to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, according to the report.

“These technologies will play a prominent role in the company’s PLANET 2050 aspiration to ultimately power customer success through carbon-neutral technologies,” the report states.

Before becoming chairman and CEO in 2012, Linebarger served as president and chief operating officer from 2008 to 2011, executive vice president and president of the company’s power generation business from 2003 to 2008, vice president and chief financial officer from 2000 to 2003, and vice president, supply chain management from 1998 to 2000.

Prior to joining Cummins, Linebarger was an investment analyst and investment manager at Prudential Investment Corp., where he lived in both Singapore and Hong Kong. While in college, Linebarger was a Cummins intern working on the manufacturing line at the Cummins Midrange Engine plant in Walesboro, Indiana. He joined the company full time in 1993.

 

Headquarters: Columbus, Indiana

Age: 57

Education: Joint bachelor degrees: management engineering, Claremont McKenna College; and mechanical engineering, Stanford University; Master’s degree, manufacturing systems, and MBA, Stanford University

First joined company: 1993

Prior to joining Cummins: investment analyst and investment manager at Prudential Investment Corp.

Named CEO: 2012

 

He’s No. 131 on Chief Executive and RHR International’s CEO1000 Tracker, a ranking of the top 1,000 public/private companies