John Diebold

From Wikispooks
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Person.png John Diebold  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
John diebold.jpg
Weehawken, New Jersey, United States
Died2005-12-26 (Age 79)
Bedford Hills, New York, United States
Alma materHarvard Business School, Swarthmore College, United States Merchant Marine Academy
Member ofAmerican Council on Germany, Council on Foreign Relations/Historical Members, Economic Club of New York
US businessman who attended the 1967 Bilderberg

John Theurer Diebold was American businessman who was a pioneer in the field of automation, founding The Diebold Group to advise corporations around the world as well as governments in the U.S and abroad in the potential of information technology. Diebold was Vice Chairman to John J. McCloy at the American Council on Germany.

Early life

Diebold was born in Weehawken, New Jersey.[1] After graduating from Weehawken High School, he enrolled at Swarthmore College, then during the war attended the United States Merchant Marine Academy and served in the merchant marine, returning to Swarthmore in 1946 to earn a B.S. in Engineering. He then completed an MBA at the Harvard Business School in 1951.[2]

At the Harvard Business School he worked with venture-capital pioneer Georges Doriot and his colleague Curtis Tarr, who advised Diebold's research project on "Making the Automatic Factory a Reality". Diebold made automation studies the focus of his assignments for a small Chicago-based consulting firm, then in 1954 he returned to Weehawken to found his own consulting company. By 1960, he numbered more than 30 prominent clients including such notable companies as Bear, Sterns & Company; Boeing Airplane; General Electric, Radio Corporation of America; Westinghouse Electric; and others.[2]

Diebold's first book, Automation: The Advent of the Automatic Factory, based on his studies at the Harvard Business School, was published by Van Nostrand in 1952. Owing to independent research and ever-persistent curiosity about the whole field of technology, he originated many of the concepts of data processing and utilization that are accepted today in both automation and management. This book was reissued unchanged on its 30th anniversary as a “management classic” by the American Management Association. He is credited with coining the word automation in its present meaning, and had much to do with introducing it to general usage.[2]

Career summary

1952 wrote first book, Automation, originating many concepts basic in today's technology.

1954 founded John Diebold & Associates, consulting in automation and management; later known as The Diebold Group, the international management consulting firm. It was sold to Daimler-Benz in 1991.

1968 founded The Diebold Institute for Public Policy Studies,[3] an operating foundation to apply advanced computer and communications technology to the improvement of the quality of life for a broad segment of the public. In 2005, the year of his death, the Institute led an international cooperative effort to assess the value of information technology in public infrastructures: health care; road transportation; education; communications and public safety.

Business career

John Diebold & Associates soon grew into The Diebold Group, which played a unique and often central role in the development of the information technology industry. John Diebold and his company were responsible for the creation of new products and services as well as in the definition of the IT role in the management of businesses and governments. His original wish to play a role in and to contribute to the development of a few of the formative issues that changes the world in which we live was fulfilled.

Starting at the founding of the firm, in 1954, Diebold found himself in a unique leadership role of teacher and concepts innovator. He recognized at the outset that computers meant much more than mechanization of existing systems. Instead, they would open hitherto undreamed of opportunities to do new things.

Only a few years after the Diebold Group's founding, books were being written about John Diebold, his ideas and his firm.

Central to all of this was the insight that for computers to achieve their potential they had to be viewed as management and strategy tools. The firm's leadership was evident not only in technical innovations but also in the highest level of strategic planning.

Working through and with the senior managements of the largest and best run corporations in the world, John Diebold and his firm had an impact that went far beyond their small professional firm. There was a multiplier effect with widespread dissemination through these organizations, their managements, employees and customers.

From its founding to its sale in 1991, the firm and John Diebold had a continuing role in the creation and dissemination of new ideas, insights and the introduction of new paradigms. An example was the concepts that talent is capital and its consequences were a key to success in the new world that took shape.

From the beginning Diebold contributed to new expectations for the delivery of public services and to what citizens could expect from governments.

The firm provided counsel to over 100 cities, most U.S. states, several foreign governments and major corporations, in the U.S. and abroad.

John Diebold was active in public as well as private pursuits. He was a trustee of the Carnegie Institution of Washington,[4] the Committee for Economic Development, the National Planning Association, a Fellow of the International Academy of Management, a Member, Executive Committee, the Public Agenda Foundation; Chairman, U.S.East Asian History of Science and Vice Chairman of the Academy for Educational Development.

He was also Vice Chairman to John J. McCloy at the American Council on Germany. He had six honorary degrees, the Legion of Honor from France and was decorated by the governments of Italy, Germany and Jordan. He also received numerous professional awards.


Event Participated in

Bilderberg/196731 March 19672 April 1967St John's College (Cambridge)
Possibly the only Bilderberg meeting held in a university college rather than a hotel (St. John's College, Cambridge)


  1. Bayot, Jennifer. "John Diebold, 79, a Visionary of the Computer Age, Dies", The New York Times, December 27, 2005. Accessed April 16, 2008.
  2. a b c Yost, Jeffrey R. (2017). Making IT Work: A History of the Computer Services Industry. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-03672-6.
  4. "Company Overview of Carnegie Institution for Science", Business Week, September 7, 2013. Accessed September 7, 2013.
Wikipedia.png This page imported content from Wikipedia on 22.09.2021.
Wikipedia is not affiliated with Wikispooks.   Original page source here