CEO's with Industrial Design Backgrounds

After reading the ‘Designer in Charge’ post about Ralph Gilles as CEO, I was wondering which other companies/people are CEOs with a design background.

I know of Mark Parker of Nike, but what are some others?

I read an article about John Sculley … an ex-apple CEO and pepsi.

Dyson? (One of the hottest .com’s at the moment) (One of the hottest .com’s at the moment)

Perhaps, before I delete this post for being a direct sales link and irrelevant to the discussion, you can explain to me how it might relate to the question of CEO’s with Industrial Design Backgrounds…

Ikea’s CEO is trained as an IDer, but never worked as one.

Outside of owner-operated firms not too many come to mind, but again it could depend on whether you consider background as education or experience, or both - and industrial design Vs ‘other’ design background.

Mark Parker: B.S in Political Science from Penn State (where he ran competitively) and started @ Nike in 1979 with primary responsibilities for product research, design and development.
James Dyson studied furniture and interior design at RCA (I would have considered him to have more of an engineering background than design)
Jim Brown CEO IDEO also studied design at RCA (MA) and Northumbria University (BA)
Ravi Sawhney CEO RKS Design studied industrial design at CSUN
Jeff Smith CEO Lunar is an industrial design grad from University of Illinois

It is relevant and not a sales link. Boogey_Man is not associated with AirBnB. The CEO of AirBnB (a .com which has grown exponentially) has a background in ID. I shared a booth next to him (Joe, CEO of AirBnB) when the site was just getting rolling during the ICFF Designboom Mart in 09

It is relevant …

Thanks Jim. That’s all I was asking for.

It would have been nice to provide that “linkage” in the first place. :wink:

Definetly not sales.

I know Joe. Good guy.

It would have been nice to provide that “linkage” in the first place.

I did provide a link -

Bogey… Sorry, I didn’t make myself clear. When I put linkage in “quotes” I was referring to associating (linking) Airbnb’s CEO’s name (Joe Gebbia) with Airbnb.

With only the URL posted it appeared SPAM-ish.

As an aside… Airbnb is a totally cool concept. So cool in fact that I told a friend about it and he’s going to list a spare room in his house with Airbnb.

He really could use the extra bucks. So thanks for the tip Bogey!

Catherine Bailey - heath ceramics Formerly of One & Co
Joe Tan - Co-Founder, Chief Design Officer at Incase

I believe Aaron Lown, chief designer/CEO of Built NY (sweet computer cases, bags, etc…), has a design background
Airbnb founder interviewed by IDSA

Ralph Gilles just left Dodge as CEO, but serves as head of Design, still.
He will develop the “SRT Group”, whatever that is.
I wonder what’s the news behind that news.?

What haunts me more, though, is the use of that “promo shoot”. A close up of the 2011 Challenger for
the PR:

Who ever thought, it was a good idea, to use a pic, that shows so many manufacturing flaws in
one shot, should hear The Donalds magic three words…


This is the more pertinent part to me:

Taking over the reins as CEO of Dodge Car Brand will be Reid Bigland, who also heads U.S. Sales for Chrysler and will also keep the title of head of Chrysler Canada

Meet the new boss…same as the old boss hehe.

I’ve seen Air BnB about and almost used it once, I didn’t realise it was started by an industrial designer, Joe Gebbia seems like a talented and frightfully driven person. His take on what’s going to be the next big thing in design and especially the “nutrition label” are really interesting.

Master Blaster - I’ve just read and really enjoyed the interview you linked to - awesome find. On a side note I just checked out your blog too Master Balster, showing some serious commitment there spanning back 5 years, good work sir.

I almost forgot, Jim Jannard, founder of Oakley and Red. He doesn’t really have an i.d. background but I hear he is very hands on when it comes product design.