J. Bruce Harreld
For his outstanding leadership and accomplishments as an engineer and senior executive of the world's largest food corporation, the Schools of Engineering are proud to present, for the Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Award, J. Bruce Harreld.
Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer
Kraft General Foods, Inc.
After receiving his bachelor's degree from Purdue and a master's degree in business administration from the Harvard Business School, Mr. Harreld joined The Boston Consulting Group, an international management consulting firm specializing in corporate strategy. During the next seven years he worked in Boston, Munich, and Chicago, and served as president and director of the firm for two years. In 1982 he joined Dart & Kraft, Inc., as senior vice president of strategy and development. In 1987 he served as president of Kraft's Venture Group, and was appointed to his current position in 1988. As senior vice president and chief information officer for Kraft General Foods, Inc., Mr. Harreld is responsible for managing the worldwide integration of the information systems for this $23 billion company.
"Purdue instilled in me a disciplined yet creative way of thinking that has been invaluable throughout my management career," says Mr. Harreld.
"Disciplined thinking is not incompatible with creativity. In fact, creativity occurs as much when you are identifying problems as when you are brainstorming possible solutions. The discipline of always asking 'What problem should I be solving?` often leads to creative results."
His advice for graduating engineers:
"Be open and honest in everything you do. For example, be honest in assessing your own skills and then openly share your assessments with your colleagues. Often they will cover your weaknesses and invite you to cover theirs. The results are a higher performing team and a great deal more fun."