Oral Histories

Interview of George Gregory

Chair and CEO of Products Research & Chemical Corporation (PRC).
Subtitle:
Entrepreneurship, Quality, and the Products Research and Chemical Corporation
Topic:
Business
Interviewer:
Hathaway, Neil D.
Interviewee:
Gregory, George
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Language:
English
Copyright:
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Abstract:
control of PRC and formation of Chemseal Corporation; winning customer loyalty; contract bidding procedures; preferred-supplier contracts lead to higher-quality products; invention of two-part, polymer sealants; sealant Gregory develops proves superior in industrywide sealant test; PRC products win acceptance at Lockheed; slipshod quality-control tests in aircraft industry; designs a chromate-cure sealant that will resist jet fuels; PRC begins to dominate the industry; PRC suffers from industrial espionage; navy-air force rivalry and the politics of the aircraft industry; fuel leakage problem of B-36 bomber prototypes; boom-and-bust nature of the aerospace industry; industry's resistance to change; sealant testing; restrictions on PRC's profits during the Korean War; changes in government procurement; becomes unofficial consultant to the navy and air force; inspection and zoning problems; challenge of opening foreign markets; licensing agreements; PRC pioneers international licensing; licensing versus direct exporting; relationships between licensing agreements and patent regulations; Leslie Misrock; PRC's research and development program; creating a small, democratic laboratory; power struggles within PRC; PRC's decision to make public stock offering; PRC acquires Sarma Company; reflections on junk bonds and the downfall of Michael Milken; business ethics; functioning of a free market economy; necessity for social welfare programs; PRC buys into the seat belt industry; PRC buys and then sells Chem-Electro Research at no profit; negotiates the sale of Kathryn Schien's PRC stock; acquisition of Semco Company; acquisition of K. J. Quinn and Company; origin of PRC's employee stock ownership plan; core technology research and new products; building PRC's Mojave plant; personal sacrifices a business career demands; Gregory selects Dean Willard as his successor; fending off an employee union; PRC's own employee groups; management council; resigns from PRC's board of directors; PRC's evolving corporate strategy; acquisition of Coast Pro-Seal; creation of the UCLA George Gregory Graduate Fellowship in Chemistry; impact of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Safety