Sandy Cutler: What is the single most important task for a leader?

Alexander M. Cutler is chairman and chief executive officer of Eaton Corporation, a $15.4 billion global diversified power management company. Cutler assumed his current position in August 2000, after serving as Eaton's president and chief operating officer since 1995.

Cutler began his career with Cutler-Hammer in 1975 as a financial analyst and became business group controller in 1977. After Eaton acquired Cutler-Hammer, he was made a division controller in 1979, and in 1980, was appointed plant manager of the Atlanta Assembly Plant.

In 1982, he became division manager of the Power Distribution Division, and in April 1985, was appointed general manager of Industrial Control and Power Distribution Operations in the United States. In 1986, he was elected president of the Industrial Group, and in 1989, was promoted to president of Eaton's Controls Group. He was elected executive vice president—Operations in 1991 and executive vice president and chief operating officer—Controls in 1993 before assuming the position of Eaton's president and chief operating officer.

Cutler is a board member of DuPont, KeyCorp, the Greater Cleveland Partnership, United Way Services of Greater Cleveland, the Electrical Manufacturers Club and the Musical Arts Association. He also chairs the Corporate Leadership Initiative of the Business Roundtable and is a member of The Business Council.

Previously, he served as chairman of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, the United Way of Greater Cleveland, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, and the Visiting Committee of the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. He is a past co-chairman and co-founder of the Cleveland Commission on Economic Partnerships and Inclusion and has also served as president of the Yale Alumni Association of Cleveland.

He is a past member of the board of the Yale University Alumni Fund, the Yale University Development Board, the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth College, and the Loomis Chaffee School.

Cutler also served on the boards of the Cleveland Play House and the Museum of Natural History.

Cutler was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and graduated from the Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, Connecticut. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University and a Master of Business Administration from the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth College.

Eaton is a global technology leader in electrical components and systems for power quality, distribution and control; hydraulics components, systems and services for industrial and mobile equipment; aerospace fuel, hydraulics and pneumatic systems for commercial and military use; and truck and automotive drivetrain and powertrain systems for performance, fuel economy and safety. Eaton has approximately 70,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 150 countries. For more information, visit www.eaton.com.

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