Deming Cup awarded to Tenaris chairman and CEO, Paolo Rocca

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Paolo Rocca pictured with Sergio Marchoinne, CEO of Fiat

October 30, 2013


Paolo Rocca, Tenaris Chairman and CEO, has been awarded the Deming Cup by Columbia Business School’s W. Edwards Deming Center for Quality, Productivity and Competitiveness. Mr. H. Fisk Johnson of SC Johnson was also a recipient of the prize. The Deming Cup has been given annually since 2010.

Rocca received the award for placing operational excellence at the core of Tenaris’s strategy. In 2007, he launched a program to standardize the best practices of the company’s various industrial facilities with the goal of reaching zero accidents, zero rejects, and 100 percent compliance across the entire system. This has resulted in a common set of operational standards and a culture that drives constant improvement in the company’s performance.

“I am deeply honored to receive the Deming Cup in recognition of the outstanding work done by the global team at Tenaris,” said Rocca. “The relevance of Deming’s insights and of his management principles should be considered by anyone who wants to be a leader today. For a company like Tenaris, operating worldwide across a number of different emerging and developed countries his lessons have been essential.”

Johnson was recognized for his role as a key driver to SC Johnson’s outstanding performance in quality and innovation. He has championed a philosophy of zero loss and 100 percent engagement, driving breakthrough improvements across facilities and enabling production teams to achieve gains never thought possible.

“To be honored with the Deming Cup is truly humbling and recognizes the hard work of the SC Johnson people around the world and the way they have operated and fostered growth — from furthering operational excellence to focusing on business process and quality,” said Johnson.

The Deming Cup grew from Columbia Business School’s drive to highlight the achievements of business practitioners who adhere to and promote excellence in operations. This award is given annually to individuals who have made outstanding contributions in the area of operations and have fostered a culture of continuous improvement within their respective organizations.

Nelson M. Fraiman, director of the W. Edwards Deming Center for Quality, Productivity and Competitiveness and professor of professional practice at Columbia Business School, commented on the importance of the award. “The Deming Cup is awarded to leaders who embody the true spirit of W. Edwards Deming. It recognizes the type of leader who builds a business based on strong values and a long term vision while at the same time cultivating an environment of operational excellence and developing a collaborative, forward thinking culture."

The Deming Cup’s judging committee was led by co-chairs Robert M. Amen, executive in residence at Columbia Business School, and Paul H. O’Neill, 72nd Secretary of the U.S. Treasury and former director and chairman of Alcoa. The committee received nominations through a variety of channels — including ads in the Financial Times, solicitations to the CEOs of the top 300 companies in the United States, Europe, Latin America, and Asia. Requests were also directed to business and engineering school faculty around the world, and to Columbia Business School’s alumni and Board of Overseers Committee. Nominations were received from April 1 through June 1, 2013.

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