July 8, 2019
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Preston Feight takes over as new CEO of Paccar

On the heels of record revenues, Preston Feight stepped into the role of CEO for Paccar Inc. on July 1.

Feight takes over from Ron Armstrong. Armstrong served in the CEO role for five years before announcing his retirement at the company’s annual meeting in an emotional address that elicited a standing ovation from shareholders, the Puget Sound Business Journal reported. Armstrong had been with the company for 26 years.

The truck manufacturer announced at the end of April that Feight was selected by its board as the company’s next CEO. Prior to the announcement, Feight served as Paccar executive vice president who contributed to the development of many products that helped boost revenues and profits. He has held a variety of leadership positions with the company over the past 21 years.

Paccar employs 28,000 people across the globe, with many based in the Puget Sound region. The company, based in Bellevue, has a parts distribution center and facility in Renton, where 19 Kenworth trucks are built every day, the PSBJ reported.

In 2017, the company opened a research and development center in Silicon Valley, and this spring started on a $140 million expansion of its Chillicothe, Ohio, plant to open in 2021 and will include a high-tech, 120,000 square-foot paint facility. The project is in addition to a $33 million robotic cab assembly cell at the plant that will open this summer, the journal reported.

In Mount Vernon, Paccar is investing $20-30 million to expand its research and development technical center. This expansion includes hiring new engineers and software developers. Paccar designs, manufactures and supports light-, medium- and heavy-duty trucks sold around the world under the Kenworth, Peterbilt and DAF brands.

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Unintended Consequences

State's proposed overtime rule change goes too far, too fast

By AWB President Kris Johnson

If it's approved, any employer with salaried workers making less than that amount will be faced with the difficult decision to either raise their employees' salary to nearly $80,000 or convert the worker to hourly status. For employers who can't afford to give out big raises, they may have little or no choice but to switch employees to hourly status.

In theory, this could lead to increased pay for some workers, but that's only if their employer can afford to pay overtime. Small businesses, nonprofits and other employers that can't absorb the cost increase will likely cut services.

Even for workers who don't take a step backward financially, the change could feel like a demotion. Increasingly, employees value flexibility in work hours, particularly younger workers. Making the transition from a salaried job -- with the flexibility to duck out for a couple hours in the middle of the day to take care of family obligation -- to an hourly worker who is required to be in the office a full eight hours, without the option of working from home, will be jarring.

No one is disputing that Washington's overtime rule needs updating. But the state's proposal simply goes too far, too fast and risks harming the employees it's intended to help.

Read the full column in The Wenatchee Valley Business World