For as long as he can remember, David L. Schoch has sought his future on the horizon. It’s a fact that played heavily in his decision to attend the Fox School. “I knew that whatever I did, I wanted it to be on the international side,” he says. “At the Fox School, I was attracted to the cultural diversity of my peers and teachers, as well as the diversity of opinions and ways of doing business. I also appreciated that my professors challenged me to think about my own values — who I was and what I stood for.” These experiences stayed with Mr. Schoch throughout his remarkable, 40-year career with Ford Motor Company, which included multiple leadership positions and overseas assignments in England, Brazil, South Africa, Germany and China. “My wife reminds me that I went to Ford on the ‘five-year plan,’” he says. “But I never stopped learning. And it wasn’t just professional development, it was family development. Our time overseas really opened our eyes to other cultures.” In late 2011, Mr. Schoch began what he calls his favorite chapter of his career, overseeing Ford’s Asia Pacific and China operations during its biggest and most aggressive expansion within the region in Ford’s history. Mr. Schoch leaned heavily on his global knowledge and values to successfully lead a team that built and launched 10 new assembly and powertrain plants (seven in China, two in India and one in Thailand), doubled retail vehicles sales to over 1.6 million units, doubled the number of dealerships and successfully introduced Lincoln into China. “This position allowed me to use all of my skills and global experience to lead my team through a very exciting period in Ford’s history in the Asia Pacific region,” he says. “I’m really proud of what the team accomplished.” Looking to the decade ahead, Mr. Schoch sees an explosion of innovation and technology that will significantly impact the automotive industry, including electrification, artificial intelligence, autonomous driving and the internet of things. “This is not only happening in the automotive industry but is also disrupting other industries around the world,” he says. “This will be a global transformation. “The challenge for future leaders is to understand which emerging innovations and technologies are most relevant to a company’s strategy, customer engagement, operations, and people and talent,” Mr. Schoch adds. Giving back to Temple and its students has always been important to Mr. Schoch. He says that he has been stimulated by his meetings with Fox MBA students at Ford Motor Company in Shanghai and when he would visit Philadelphia. “Often, I would share with them this bit of advice: be open minded in your career; earn respect and trust by learning about others and their cultures; and always be looking around the corner for innovation and technology trends that will change your life and business.”
Temple University Degree
Master of Business Administration ’78, Fox School of Business
What I wanted to be when I was 20 years old
A global-oriented businessman
Best piece of advice anyone ever gave me
Growing up, my father would say to me, “Son, there are two things you can do when conditions are bad: sit back and wait for things to get better, or go out there and make things happen.” My father’s challenge to me “to make things happen” was my inspiration and motivation in the development of my personal and professional life.