John Mortimer in Rancocas
From Rowan's book:
John Mortimer had proven himself at Inductotherm Australia, where Jess had put him in charge as he left for England. With John at the helm, the young organization mushroomed into a substantial force in the Southeast Asian economy with sales growing to the $5,000,000 level in John's fourth year, and with profits before taxes approaching $500,000. Their technical accomplishments, too, were impressive which the construction of the biggest vertical channel of its day, a 30-metric-Ton melt system in Sydney, as well as the most powerful coreless induction furnace system our group had built, a 4,400 kW system for Ferrovorm in South Africa.
Having built Inductotherm Australia to a position of dominance, though, John wanted to expand his horizons and his expertise further and, in the summer of 1976, he returned to college in the dual capacity of student and lecturer at the Caulfield Institute. Now, three and a half years later, here was the opportunity to rejoin the parent furnace company as chief engineer. It was an offer--and a challenge--he couldn't resist.
That didn't mean that working in Rancocas didn't require certain adjustments. In Australia, John once noted, silence to an idea meant rejection. In the States, it meant acceptance. How was he ever going to run a company in a country with such strange ways?
If there was much to learn about running a company that was an order of magnitude bigger than the one he'd managed in Australia, what better mentor in the field of management and leadership could he have than Roy Ruble. As Chief Engineer, though, John was, by virtue of expertise and nature, nothing less than dynamic. After I'd finally relinquished the engineering responsibility (if I ever really did), our succession of chief engineers--Richard "Doc" Antuzzi, Jack Harrington, Joe McNulty, and Andy Hammerschmidt--had struggled to perform their duties conscientiously, but the job was more complex than any of them had foreseen; or perhaps I was just too demanding.
With John's arrival in Rancocas, the role of engineering again became a driving force. Our new Chief Engineer had an instinctive grasp of the interplay between theory and practice; which, as Professor Dawes used to preach back at MIT, is the essence of engineering. He was capable of the kind of conceptual thinking that would earn him a dozen patents in the induction melting field; at the same time, he recognized the role of detail, like the need for precision in drawings. Our R&D was charged with a new vitality, while our manufacturing processes became more efficient and economical.