University of Kentucky


Hall of Distinguished Alumni

James F. Hardymon II

Born in Maysville, Kentucky, on November 11, 1934. CEO of Fortune 500 Company. University of Kentucky, B.S., 1956; M.S., 1958.

The retired chairman and CEO of Textron Inc., a $10 billion, global, multi-industry company with market-leading operations in aircraft, automotive, industrial and finance, Jim Hardymon first joined the firm as president, chief operating officer and director in 1989. Three years later he was named CEO and was elected chairman in 1993. He retired in 1999.

Under his leadership, Textron consistently increased its operating performance, delivering steady growth in revenue and earnings, expanded its global presence and consistently increased shareholder return. He began an extensive training program for the company’s 56,000 employees to plan for the company’s future beyond the year 2000.

Prior to joining Textron, he moved through the ranks at Emerson Electric Company, from president of the special products division to first vice president, then president of the company’s Skil Power Tools Division to executive vice president to vice chairman, chief operating officer and president of the firm.

He began his career with the Browning Manufacturing Company in Maysville in 1961, following two tours of duty in the U.S. Army.

He has served as a director of Lexmark International, Fleet Financial Group, Air Products and Chemicals Inc., Groupe Schneider (France), Circuit City Stores and Championship Auto Racing Teams Inc.

At UK he has served as a member of the Board of Trustees and chair of the finance committee. He serves on the College of Engineering’s BS/MBA Program Advisory Board and received the college’s highest honor in 1995 when he was inducted into the college’s Hall of Distinction. He has also proved a generous benefactor to the College of Engineering.

James F. Hardymon was inducted into the Hall of Distinguished Alumni on May 19, 2000.

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