Pierre Bataille

Chairman & CEO / Poclain / 1926 - 2009 / Inducted 2012

Pierre Bataille

Pierre Bataille was an industry innovator and a responsible leader, contributing to economic development in France while improving quality of life for his workforce and the industry.

The technology he helped develop, high pressure hydraulics, played a part in the huge increase in productivity for agricultural works, handling operations and earthmoving. He was a pioneer in development of the hydraulic excavator. He was the instigator to use production assembly lines for excavators in the early 1960s, increasing production and reliability; his concept of the swing drive and boom remain a standard today.

A leader in social responsibility, Bataille offered interest-free loans to his employees, a majority of whom were former farmers living in poor conditions who then more easily became homeowners. He developed a technical training center to provide workers and excavator operators with job training. Bataille established one of the first staffed company cafeterias for his employees and a network of buses to safely transport them to and from work; while not a widespread practice in the 1960s, Bataille instituted noise-reduction measures in the plant and on excavators.

Bataille's civic service included leadership of French standardization and business development organizations, and he also served as president of the Committee for European Construction Equipment. In 1990, Bataille was awarded the rank of Officer of the Legion of Honor by the French government in recognition of his entrepreneurial leadership.