Former Caterpillar chairman, CEO Officer Glen Barton honored for focus on quality, implementing 6 Sigma

Retired Caterpillar Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Glen Barton is being honored by SAE International for his leadership and emphasis on improving product, processes and quality during his tenure as the company’s top executive from 1999 to 2004.

After assuming the role of chairman and CEO, Barton led the deployment of 6 Sigma across the Caterpillar enterprise, a fact-based, data-driven approach to process improvement aimed at the near elimination of defects in every process and transaction. Its launch was unique in that it occurred in a single wave simultaneously throughout the entire corporation.

“The decision to deploy 6 Sigma brought about a significant cultural shift in the organization and drove collaboration and teamwork throughout all of Caterpillar. I am proud that our team was able to get it done,” said Barton in a press release. “It was critical to not only embed 6 Sigma into multiple quality processes, we also made sure the organization understood that 6 Sigma at Caterpillar was not just a focus on product quality, but improving all business processes.”

Barton’s efforts are being recognized at SAE International’s COMVEC Industry Keynote and Awards Banquet being held on Oct. 2 in Rosemont, Illinois. SAE International is a global association of more than 133,000 engineers and related technical experts in the aerospace, automotive and commercial vehicle industries. Barton is the recipient of the Subir Chowdhury Medal of Quality Leadership award, which recognizes those who foster innovation and broaden the impact of quality in their industry.

Barton’s contributions to quality improvement in organizations outside of Caterpillar are also extensive. These include deploying 6 Sigma to Caterpillar dealers and suppliers, and supporting various organizations like Malcom Baldridge, corporate boards and not-for-profit organizations. Among his many appointments, Barton has served as a founder of Peoria NEXT, Bradley University Board of Trustees and is on the University of Missouri-Columbia Dean’s Engineering Advisory Council. Barton and his wife, Polly, continue to be actively involved in many different initiatives within their home city of Peoria, Illinois.