BOSTON, Mass. (WETM) — James Richardson Houghton, who served as Corning Incorporated’s Chairman and CEO from 1983 to 1996 and helped set the company on track for global innovation in multiple fields, died Tuesday, Dec. 20 at his home in Boston, he was 86.
The news comes from an obituary in the Boston Globe stating that James died peacefully at his home in Boston Massachusetts and that he had, “struggled valiantly for over 11 years with frontal lobe dementia.”
James, or Jamie as everyone called him, was born on April 6, 1936, in Corning N.Y. to his mother Laura Richardson Houghton, and father Amory Houghton.
Jamie went to schools in Corning before going to New England and graduating high school in 1954. After high school, he attended Harvard College and Graduated in 1958 and went on to get his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1962.
Jamie became chairman of Corning Inc. in 1983 after succeeding his brother Amo. While at Corning he was an early champion of diversity in the workforce and Total Quality Management.
A statement from a Corning spokesperson on Jamie’s accomplishments as chairman.
He’s known for setting the company on the track toward global innovation in a wide variety of high-tech fields, including optical fiber. From 1983 to the time of his retirement in 1996, company sales grew from $1.5 billion to $5.3 billion. Houghton came out of retirement in 2001 to lead the company through the telecommunications-industry crisis and into new prosperity as a world leader in the LCD glass industry.Corning Spokesperson on Jamie Houghton
Houghton re-retired in 2007 and left a great legacy behind at corning, one that current CEO Wendell Weeks says was instrumental in building one of the world’s leading innovators in materials science.
Jamie was an exceptional leader, a dear friend, and one of my personal mentors. Whether you had the good fortune to work directly with Jamie or not, everyone at Corning has been touched by his vision and his leadership. Jamie leaves a remarkable legacy, including the company that he was instrumental in building into one of the world’s leading innovators in materials science, the cultural institutions he strengthened with his philanthropy, the communities that he enriched with his support, and the countless lives he touched with his generosity and warmth.Wendell Weeks, Chairman and CEO at Corning Incorporated
A memorial service for Jamie is being held at a later date. The obituary asks for individuals to consider a donation to the Laura Richardson Houghton Youth Center in Corning, at 79 Flint Ave., instead of flowers.