Lewis Campbell, CEO, Navistar

Why we're watching: Campbell's goal for 2013 is to work himself out of being CEO at the struggling Lisle-based truck- and engine-maker. "As soon as we get this company positioned and back on its feet, then we should bring in someone who can go for eight to 10 years ¿ that's the ideal (length of) time to be a CEO," said Campbell, the 66-year-old former Textron chairman, who came out of retirement in August to turn around Navistar. "I personally think it's going to be 12 to 18 months, that's what I think. And once we pick the person, that kind of says this company is back on its game." Navistar spent more than $700 million developing a pollution-reduction technology for its diesel engines ¿ only to have it fail to meet emission standards that went into effect in 2010. The falling share price opened a window for activist investors Carl Icahn and Mark Rachesky to acquire shares and call for changes. CEO Daniel Ustian and board members were replaced. Layoffs and cost cuts followed. "We're going to get some outside help to see if we're doing the right stuff and are we employing the right number of people to do the right stuff," Campbell said, adding that he is fielding bids from consulting firms. "Will our workforce be affected? I'd have to admit, 'Yes.' I can't tell you a lie about it. Do I think it will be a huge number? No, I don't." Campbell, who lives in Hinsdale, said he learned "there are no basic entitlements" in business during his 24 years at General Motors. Later, at Textron, he learned the perils of being too focused on short-term results such as earnings per share. "I've seen every one of the issues that we're dealing with at Navistar at some time in my life," Campbell said. Photo: Navistar CEO Lewis Campbell poses by a truck in the lobby at the Navistar office in Lisle in October. (Mim Young/Reuters)
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