Chief executive officer and chairman, PACCAR Inc.
Education: Stanford University, BS, 1976; MS, 1984; BA, 1998.
Family: Son of Charles McGee Pigott (CEO of PACCAR Inc. until 1997) and Yvonne Flood.
Career: PACCAR Inc., 1977–1988, internal auditor, along with various later positions at several divisions; 1988–1990, vice president; 1990–1993, senior vice president; 1993–1995, executive vice president; 1994–, member of the board of directors; 1995–1997, vice chairman; 1997–, chief executive officer and chairman.
Awards: Honored by the government of Great Britain with the Order of the British Empire, 2003; named CEO of the Year by Washington CEO magazine, 2004.
Address: PACCAR Inc., 777 106th Avenue NE, Bellevue, Washington 98004; http://www.paccar.com/.
■ Truck manufacturing executive Mark C. Pigott was the CEO and chairman of the Bellevue, Washington-based PACCAR. As the leader of this diversified, multinational company, Pigott was responsible for maintaining the consistently high standards of quality that PACCAR had historically guaranteed in all of its products. Pigott ensured that his lines of well-engineered, highly customized, and exceptionally performing products were sold efficiently throughout its global markets. In fact, in 2003 Pigott was awarded the Order of the British Empire in recognition of outstanding services that were directed toward strengthening business relationships between the United Kingdom and the United States. In 2004 Pigott was named CEO of the Year by Washington CEO magazine. In that same year PACCAR won the International Stevie Business Award based on the company's consistently producing the highest-quality products in their sector, along with maintaining strong cost controls and developing new and original technological applications.
As a global technology company, PACCAR was the world's second-largest manufacturer of big rig trucks, with sales in North America, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. (Daimler Chrysler's Freightliner subsidiary was the largest such maker.) Because PACCAR had consistently been a leader with regards to technology, Pigott maintained that PACCAR should rightfully be called a technology company that made trucks, not a truck company that used technology. PACCAR designed and manufactured exclusive lines of light-, medium-, and heavy-duty trucks that included the Kenworth, Peterbilt, DAF, Leyland, and Foden nameplates. In addition, the company also provided customer support and aftermarket parts for its products. PACCAR's other products included Braden, Carco, and Gearmatic industrial winches. Except for a few company-owned branches, PACCAR's trucks and parts were sold exclusively through independent dealerships. The company's PacLease and PACCAR Financial Corporation subsidiaries sold PACCAR products in many countries worldwide, along with truck leasing and financing services. In the early 2000s PACCAR employed about 17,000 people in 11 factories, nine distribution centers, and various regional offices around the world.
In 1905 William Pigott Sr. (1860–1929), the son of Irish immigrants and great-grandfather of Mark Pigott, founded the Seattle Car Manufacturing Company—as PACCAR was originally known—in West Seattle, Washington, where it made logging equipment and trucks. The company was incorporated on February 11, 1905. It merged with a Portland, Oregon, company, Twohy Brothers, in 1917 and was renamed the Pacific Car and Foundry Company, where it expanded into making rail cars. The company was sold to American Car and Foundry in 1924 and went through several difficult periods during the Great Depression as demand decreased for rail cars. The Pigott family did not have control of the company from the late 1920s to the early 1930s.
Paul Pigott (1900–1961), William Pigott's son and Mark's grandfather, reacquired the company in 1934 and ran it as chairman and CEO until his death in 1961. The company manufactured Sherman tanks for use during World War II. At the war's end, however, in 1945, the company migrated its business into truck manufacturing when it acquired the Kenworth Motor Truck Company in Seattle, Washington, and later the Peterbilt Truck Company, based in California. Charles M. Pigott (1929–), Paul Pigott's son and Mark's father, became president in 1965 and added the titles of chairman and CEO three years later. On January 25, 1971, Pacific Car and Foundry Company changed its name to PACCAR to better describe the businesses it owned and operated. Charles's son, Mark Pigott, the company's chairman and CEO in the early 21st century, succeeded him in 1997.
Pigott worked at the company during the summers while he was in high school. During summer breaks from Stanford University, Pigott was employed at PACCAR dealerships. Those early experiences, which included welding, painting trucks, operating forklifts, and assembling chassis (main frames of trucks), helped Pigott learn almost all aspects of the business. After college he was hired in 1977 as an internal auditor. Pigott advanced in several positions at a number of divisions including Peterbilt Motors, headquartered in Denton, Texas, and Foden Trucks in the United Kingdom. Pigott was hired as vice president of PACCAR in October 1988 and was promoted in January 1990 to the position of senior vice president. In December 1993 he was selected to be PACCAR's executive vice president. Pigott became a director beginning in 1994 and was promoted to vice chairman in January 1995. Pigott became CEO and chairman in January 1997.
Pigott was a low-key leader, avoiding interviews and the high-profile lifestyles often led by his corporate peers. In fact, Pigott was opposed to the publicity-seeking headlines that were all too often prominent in corporate management. On the other hand, he was very lively and informative when speaking with pride, for example, about his aerodynamic truck bodies and various custom-made accessories inside the cabs. An enthusiastic, detail-oriented leader, Pigott gained a reputation as one of the most respected world authorities in the trucking industry. People who knew the tall, lanky Pigott frequently commented about how dedicated he was to the company and its people. No doubt part of that passion for PACCAR came from the long family heritage of building vehicles to transport freight.
During the 1990s Pigott continued the consistent, customer-oriented philosophy that had been adopted by his predecessors within the company. Pigott also maintained a strong leadership style for PACCAR. Consequently, PACCAR was not as negatively affected as other large companies during periodic operational and economic upheavals in the industry.
Pigott spent much of his time in the 1990s supporting new technologies within PACCAR. He was proud of the fact that PACCAR was one of the few truck manufacturers that incorporated technology in its designing, manufacturing, and marketing processes. For example, Pigott introduced computer technology when bringing parts into PACCAR factories. This just-in-time process (a set of computer techniques to improve the return on investment by reducing in-house inventories and their related costs) dramatically reduced the amount of storage space needed for PACCAR, area that was eventually turned into additional manufacturing surfaces. Application of this and other innovative technologies meant that PACCAR was able to develop new truck lines in months, not years, like other companies. In fact, the company was recognized by PC Week magazine in 1999 for the quality of its information technology systems.
According to Pigott, such investments in technology gave PACCAR a three-to-five-year lead over its competition with respect to overall ability to design, manufacture, and market products, serve customers, and manage finances. With very little debt to restrict its operations, Pigott was able to invest more money in the business for quicker production of its goods. Such actions yielded greater profits, higher market share, and better name recognition, all of which resulted in PACCAR's winning quality awards from around the world. Stock analysts who regularly followed PACCAR agreed that Pigott's focus on operational excellence would continue to increase the company's share of this key manufacturing market.
In 1992 PACCAR's Parts Division opened a new headquarters building in Renton, Washington. The building occupied part of the company's historic Pacific Car and Foundry site. The 1990s were also an important growth period for PACCAR Financial Corporation, which offered in-house financing for Kenworth and Peterbilt and for PACCAR's leasing corporation, which became one of the 10 largest full-service leasing companies in North America. By 1995 PACCAR marketed trucks in more than 40 countries and was one of the largest exporters of capital goods in North America. By the end of the 1990s Pigott had overseen the inception of several capital projects, including a 24,300 square-foot research and development center at its Kenworth truck plant in Renton; an expansion project that nearly doubled the size of its customer call center, also in Renton; and new parts distribution centers in Atlanta, Georgia, and Leyland, England.
During the late 1990s Pigott focused on communication and management systems for its truck dealers and owner operators. Pigott had PACCAR's Dealer Management Consulting arm offer services for human resources, insurance and financial planning, dealership operations and management, and computer systems management. Pigott directed PACCAR's Driver Board and Dealer Councils to let Kenworth and Peterbilt drivers and dealers share customer feedback with the PACCAR management team. As a result of Pigott's innovations, especially with new computer technologies, improved design features and greater product quality were incorporated into all of the company's products.
Net income in the first quarter of 2004 at PACCAR rose 64 percent to $182.2 million compared with $110.8 million just one year earlier. At the same time, revenue rose 32 percent to $2.37 billion from $1.8 billion. Pigott announced that all of PACCAR's segments had strong results, with 2003 being the company's second-best year in its history.
Pigott also participated in various activities outside of PACCAR. He was a member of the Washington State Roundtable, the Business Council in Washington, D.C., the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and the Society of American Engineers, and he was active in numerous local charitable organizations in the Pacific Northwest.
The four generations of Pigott men who led PACCAR achieved quality results for decades, earning a net profit and paying a dividend every year since 1941. With Pigott's technological innovations and attention to customer services, PACCAR continued to show consistent profits even though the trade and transportation industry went through a dramatic downturn at the beginning of the 2000s. Mark Pigott, along with his forebears, pursued nearly a century of quality that led to PACCAR's being a strong business leader in the northwestern United States and a major global corporation.
Pigott credited the creative contributions of PACCAR's employees and coordinated efforts by management to expand market share overseas and to invest in facilities, new products, and information technology for the company's outstanding performance in the 1990s and early 2000s. PACCAR was well positioned in the early 21st century to extend its string of profitable years.
See also entry on PACCAR Inc. in International Directory of Company Histories .
Becker, Paula, "Seattle Car Manufacturing Co. Opens a Railcar Manufacturing Plant in Renton on February 1, 1908," HistoryLink.org: The Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History , http://www.historylink.org/_output.CFM?file_ID=4271 .
Groner, Alex, PACCAR: The Pursuit of Quality , Woodinville, Wash.: Documentary Book Publishing, 1996.
Wilma, David, "Kenworth Motor Truck Corporation Incorporates in Seattle in January 1923," HistoryLink.org: The Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History , http://www.historylink.org/_output.CFM?file_ID=3192 .
——, "Pacific Car and Foundry Co. Becomes PACCAR, Inc. on January 25, 1972," HistoryLink.org: The Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History , http://www.historylink.org/_output.CFM?file_ID=3194 .
——, "Pigott, Paul (1900–1961)," HistoryLink.org: The Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History , http://www.historylink.org/_output.CFM?file_ID=3193 .
——, "Pigott, William (1860–1929)," HistoryLink.org: The Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History , http://www.historylink.org/_output.CFM?file_ID=3177 .
——, "Seattle Car Manufacturing Co., Precursor to PACCAR, Incorporates on February 11, 1905," HistoryLink.org: The Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History , http://www.historylink.org/_output.CFM?file_ID=3189 .
——, "Seattle Steel Co. Begins Manufacturing Steel Products on May 4, 1905," HistoryLink.org: The Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History , http://www.historylink.org/_output.CFM?file_ID=3175 .
—William Arthur Atkins
Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic: