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Instant Message: Q&A with Southwire’s Stu Thorn

By Afton Spriggs

For this month’s edition of tEDmag.com’s Instant Message series, I had the opportunity to speak with Stu Thorn, president and CEO of Southwire Company. Stu graciously took time out of his schedule to sit down and talk with the tEDmag.com crew to give his thoughts on the traits of a great leader and his advice for a successful career in the electrical industry. He also explains that he believes partnerships are likely to be the trend in the industry going forward. Make sure you don’t miss his story about the most shocking thing he’s ever heard in a job interview—that’s about halfway into the video and it’s definitely worth listening to.

Stuart Thorn is president and chief executive officer of Southwire, one of the worlds largest producers of electrical power cables. He oversees staff, operations and strategic direction for the company.

Thorn began his career in 1979 with S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. In his 16 years with the company, Thorns experience spanned finance, marketing, strategic planning, acquisitions and international business.

Building on his diverse experience, Thorn also served with Campbell Soup Company and Beaulieu of America, a carpet manufacturing facility in Dalton, Ga., before joining Southwire Company. While serving as president and chief operating officer at Beaulieu of America, Thorn led four major acquisitions and directed operations to double sales and profits, reaching $1.8 billion in revenue.

Thorn received a bachelor of science degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1978 and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Business Management at the University of Pennsylvania, Finance and Decision Science in 1979.

He currently serves on several boards, including Just Care, Inc., a privately owned sub-acute care operation for prisoners in need of medical attention, and Meribill, a physician billing management service.

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