Cummins Inc. today announced that Ed Pence, the company vice president of strategic initiatives, is retiring after 36 years with the company, which included a variety of leadership roles.
“Throughout Ed’s tenure, he was committed to excellence and success in all arenas – for our customers, our employees and our communities,” Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger and President and COO Rich Freeland said in a joint email to Cummins’ more than 55,000 employees.
“He consistently, and over many years, invested time, energy and care into developing and maintaining customer relationships,” Freeland and Linebarger said. “As a result of those relationships, we were able to navigate difficult times much better than some of our competitors.”
Pence, a native of Columbus and brother of U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, said he was grateful for the chance to work at Cummins. He still remembers how excited he was to get a job offer from the company after graduating from Indiana University in 1981.
“Sharing experiences and working with people who represent both our past and our future has been personally enriching as I have moved through the twilight of my career,” Pence said. “I am grateful for the friendships and life experiences. Thank you, Cummins, for more than 36 great years!”
Pence began his career at Cummins in purchasing, which he credits for helping him learn about the company’s products and operations. He then worked as an account manager before becoming the industrial sales manager for Cummins Diesel Australia. He next served as an account executive working with heavy duty truck customers, overcoming stiff competition and industry trends such as vertical integration, before becoming the leader of the High Horsepower Engine Business in 2012.
Global markets began to decline after unprecedented growth the preceding five years. Nevertheless, the company continued investing in products like Cummins QSK95, the largest high-speed diesel engine on the market. That investment is paying off today across a number of key markets.
“I am proud of the teamwork demonstrated by people collaborating across functions and borders while focusing on the most demanding marketplace applications and winning significant new business in the process,” Pence said.
Most recently, Pence played a key role in restructuring at Cummins that led to High Horsepower’s merging with Cummins Power Generation to become Cummins Power Systems. He then joined Linebarger’s executive team and played a key role in laying the groundwork for the Eaton Cummins Automated Transmission Joint Venture announced earlier this year, according to the company.
While he enjoyed his role in the company’s evolution into a global power leader, Pence says he also took tremendous satisfaction from serving as a mentor to other employees. He was known for carrying a small copy of the company’s Mission, Vision and Values in his shirt pocket.
“He sincerely views people as the company’s primary assets and his commitment to developing others can be seen in the careers of so many that have benefitted from his mentoring,” Linebarger and Freeland said.