Dr. William L. Wearly

Chairman and CEO, retired
Ingersoll-Rand Company

William L. Wearly
Engineering is an excellent route to start [a career] in design, sales, manufacturing, research, and general management. At Ingersoll-Rand, 80% of the executives had an engineering degree [and] the past four CEOs were engineers.

William L. Wearly was born in 1915 in Warren, Indiana. After graduating from Purdue in 1937 with a BSEE degree, he went to work for Joy Manufacturing Company as a member of their electrical design staff. He rose through the ranks from service manager to general sales manager, and then to executive vice-president. In 1957 he was named president and chief operating officer of the company. He held these positions until 1962 when he joined Ingersoll-Rand as vice-president and director. In 1967, he was named chairman and chief executive officer of Ingersoll-Rand and held those posts until he retired in 1980.

Wearly, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, received an Honorary Doctor of Engineering degree from Purdue in 1959 and an Honorary Doctor of Humanities in 1974. Active in professional organizations, he is a member of the American Institute of Mining Engineering and the Institute of Electrical Engineering. He has served as chairman of the International Committee of National Association of Manufacturers and of the European-American Business Council. He has also served on numerous corporate boards including those of the Bank of New York, American Cyanamid, Sperry Corporation, McDermott Corporation, and American Smelting and Refining.