William BlackieBack to
Caterpillar Tractor Company
After studying at University of Glasgow and completing a 5 year apprenticeship in his hometown of Glasgow, Scotland, William Blackie came to the United States. He first joined Price Waterhouse in 1930 as an accountant in the Chicago office, where he handled the Caterpillar account. Blackie later joined Caterpillar in 1939 as controller. Several months after joining the company, Mr. Blackie played an important role in producing engines for the American military as the war in Europe began. His career progressed at Caterpillar, becoming vice president of Caterpillar in 1944, an executive vice president in 1954, president of the company in 1962, and chairman in 1966.
Retiring from Caterpillar in 1972, Blackie had been the driving force in transforming Caterpillar from a small U.S. based factory in Peoria to a multinational corporation. He invested heavily in international expansion, setting up manufacturing facilities throughout the world. During his time as president and chairman, Caterpillar sales rose from $827 million to more than $2.6 billion.
Two years after retiring from Caterpillar, Blackie joined Lehman Brothers Inc., an investment banking firm as a senior partner and director in its San Francisco office where he remained until his second retirement in 1984.