James Sharpe, MBA 1976

Extrusion Technology

Interview conducted in January 2003

James “Jim” Sharpe, HBS 1976, spent the early part of his career at General Electric, where he eventually had P&L responsibility for $15 million in sales and 100 employees. He then joined Hoover Universal, where he had P&L responsibility for $30 million in sales and unionized plant sites with over 400 employees. He next served as president for Brown Machine Company, a subsidiary of John Brown, Inc., and then for a larger company within the same group. Jim had always wanted to own his own business, however, and by 1987 he was ready. He spent months looking for an opportunity and finally found it in Extrusion Technology, Inc., a small manufacturing company in Massachusetts that provides customized metal parts to diverse industries. Jim talked about the distinctive path he took in entrepreneurship in an interview from his office at Extrusion Technology in January 2003. Interviewer: Amy Blitz, HBS Director of Media Development for Entrepreneurial Management.

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