VP - Eng., Wire/Terminals & Connectors
Bill Presley brought more than experience working for an OEM when he came to Lear in 2008: he also contributes an academic and military background that itself is valued by a team promoting diversity. He graduated from Vermont’s Norwich Military University with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and would go on to earn a master’s concentrating on electromagnetic physics from the University of Detroit and an MBA from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan.
For 13 years, Bill also served in both the U.S. Army and the Michigan Army National Guard in the field artillery branch, attaining the rank of commander for a field artillery battery and attending the Army’s advanced officers’ course at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
Prior to Lear, Bill worked as an engineer at Chrysler for more than a decade, working in many different functional areas from the testing lab, electronics, design studios to vehicle development, which he says “really allowed me to understand the total vehicle architecture and all the interactions of the components and systems.”
Identifying what one likes about Lear illustrates a path to achievement and Bill notes what he most enjoys: “The pace – there is never any downtime at Lear. We run lean and we run hard and it shows in our performance. When times were tough in 2008 and 2009 we moved forward aggressively and we came out successful. Now that we are doing well, we are pushing forward even harder to make sure we don’t get complacent. Nothing disrupts your competitors more than a swift and relentless offense.”
Thriving in an action-paced environment, in a little more than a year he progressed from Lear’s GM North America Program Manager to Global Director, Core Engineering, and after two years in that role became Global Director, Wire Engineering. In July 2013, Bill became Vice President, Global Wire, Terminals & Connectors Engineering.
Highlighting the bigger picture, he observes that Lear people make daily decisions “with a personal flavor…meaning they don’t look at it as just a job, they act as if they were making decisions that affect their own household. I talk to people every day around the world and at no point is ‘region’ or ‘location’ even a consideration. It is always about what is the right decision for the company and the team.”
A person with Bill’s experience in industry and the military focuses on an important facet for organizational success. “Senior leaders lead by example instead of just talking about things, ranging from getting the job done to demonstrating our Core Values, such as giving back to the communities where we do business,” he concludes, “and that’s part of a special formula that is not present in many companies.”