Saturday, September 23, 2023

Clarence Eugene “Gene” Anderson

Pampa High School Class of 1956



Clarence Eugene "Gene" Anderson was born at the Combs Worley Hospital in Pampa in 1938 to Faye (Carey) and Clarence L. Anderson who, at the time, were farmers near Groom. His Anderson grandparents, Doshia (Osborne) and Henry Anderson, were early residents of Pampa.


Eugene Anderson attended primary schools in Amarillo and Lefors before attending schools in Pampa. He graduated from Pampa High School in 1956. Grateful for the quality of education that he received at Pampa High School, and inspired by his chemistry teacher, Mrs. Elaine Ledbetter, he went to the University of Texas at Austin. He was elected to two scholastic honorary societies, was an officer in his social fraternity, and was active in various campus organizations. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering in January 1961. He worked briefly in New Orleans for Tenneco Oil Company before going to Harvard University. His thesis on the simulation of an oil refinery using linear programming techniques was some of the first work in the field. Anderson received his Masters in Business Administration degree from Harvard in 1963. His education was largely self-financed.


Anderson rejoined Tenneco, and for the next eighteen years, held a number of positions of increasing responsibility both at home and abroad. In the United States, he was a Process Engineer, Operations Analyst, Director of Supply and Transportation, Director of Operational Planning for Tenneco Oil Company. He was Vice President of Tenneco International Co and Vice President of Corporate Development and Planning for the parent company, Tenneco Inc. It was, however, the international aspects of Tenneco which interested him the most. About half of his time with Tenneco, he was living abroad solving problems of Tenneco companies. In 1966, he was Managing Director of Globe Petroleum Sales Ltd. in England, where he remained until 1969. From 1973 until 1976, he was in London, England as Executive Director of Albright and Wilson Ltd, a large publicly traded chemical company in the United Kingdom. Anderson's final assignment was Chief Operating Officer for Albright and Wilson in London in 1979.


Anderson held two jobs with Celanese Corp. The first, as a school boy, was to chop weeds at the Pampa plant. The second, in 1981, was to be President of Celanese International Co. in New York City. During his tenure, its international operations were rationalized and made profitable.


In 1985, he became Chief Executive of Johnson Matthey plc, a troubled international materials technology company and one of the original founders of the London gold market. He was able to totally extinguish Johnson Matthey's burdensome debts and make the company profitable again. The Company became one of the largest suppliers of pollution control catalysts for automobiles. In 1989, Ferranti International plc, Britain's largest defense electronics and systems firm, was brought down by a fraud. In 1990, Anderson was appointed Chairman and Chief Executive. Debts of over $1 billion were reduced radically through asset disposals, downsizing and contract renegotiation. Thousands of jobs were preserved that would have otherwise been lost.


Starting with Albright and Wilson in the 1970's, he began investing in the companies which he was trying to revive. In essence, he put "his money where his mouth was." It proved to be a very satisfactory strategy which he followed for the rest of his business career. It earned him the appellation of "Company Doctor." Since 1995, he has acted as a business consultant and private investor. During his career, he has been active in various community activities and clubs. He is listed in "Who's Who in Britain." Anderson is married to the former Daniela Proche, a native of Czechoslovakia. They have a daughter, Claressinka. He has three children from a previous marriage; Amy, Eugene Jr., and Melissa.


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