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Robert Schantz Oelman

1951, USA



Robert S. Oelman

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NCR

Achievement


The fifth president from 1962 till 1974

 

Biography

Robert Schantz succeeded Stanley C. Allyn and grew up within the shadow of The National Cash Register Company. His grandfather, Adam Schantz Jr was a major owner of land just south of the NCR Dayton complex.
Both Schantz and John H. Patterson founding the suburban city of Oakwood adjacent to Dayton.
A very young Bob Oelman participated in the NCR boy’s garden project, and occasionally
caught sight of Patterson inspecting the plots southeast of Building 10.
Oelman also played violin in the Patterson School orchestra. When the group performed at the NCR Schoolhouse, he recalled, “After the performance Mr. Patterson came up and shook my hand, and sinds I was leader, gave me two brand new dollar bills for each member of the orchestra”
His family ties and boyhood contacts with NCR’s founder, however, did not guarantee Oelman’s future success at NCR.
He graduated from Dartmouth College and studied economics and international law at the University of Vienna before joining NCR’s overseas department in 1933.
As Allyn recalled, “His (Oelman’s) work began to impress Colonel Deeds and me in 1942”
At the time Oelman worked in Domestic Advertising. However, it was discovered that one of his former Dartmouth professors was in charge of office equipment production controls for the federal government. Oelman therefore became Allyn’s assistant and NCR’s representative
to Washington through the war years.
He met with Allyn and Deeds on many Saturday and Sunday mornings to report his progress and plan strategy. Allyn mentioned “He sorted out the tangled mazes of wartime agencies with the pose of a veteran”
Oeleman was named assistant vice president in 1945, vice president in 1946, and executive vice president in 1950.
Through those years, he understudied Allyn and became immersed in all areas of the business, accompanying Allyn around the globe to review NCR operations.
Allyn believed in training “a new management generation” much as Colonel Deeds had trained his generation. Allyn proceeded to introduce Oelman to world leaders and many others.
NCR’s worldwide stature and Allyn’s work with UNESCO and the Economic Commission for Europe exposed the company’s executives to the level of acquaintanship. Allyn praised Oelman’s distinctly personality and political astuteness” as fitting him to lead the company in the future.
Oelman became president in 1957 when Allyn was named to succeed Colonel Deeds as chairman. NCR has introduced the previous year the first electronic electronic accounting machine the Post-Tronic. And the company was about to introduce the industry’s first all-solid –state business computer.
In addition to approving NCR’s extensive data processing developments in the late 1950’s and trough the 1960’s, from the NCR 304 to the Century Series Computers.
Oelman launched what would become the highly successful research microelectronics at NCR in the early 1960’s Under his leadership NCR also established data processing centers around the world. By the time he retired in 1974 at age 65 NCR’s worldwide sales had reached the $2-billion level, compared with $383 million the year he became president.
Oelman devoted 41 years to the NCR also gained international recognition for his work as officer and / or director on many civic and company boards. Among many honors he was chosen; along with 20 other corporate leaders, to meet European head of state in tour sponsored by Time Live Inc.

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