Ernest R. Breech: Award-Winning CPA and Corporate Financial Troubleshooter

Posted: 30 May 2012

See all articles by Dale L. Flesher

Dale L. Flesher

University of Mississippi - Patterson School of Accountancy

Gary Previts

Case Western Reserve University - Department of Accountancy

Stephen R. Moehrle

University of Missouri at Saint Louis - Accounting Area

Date Written: May 29, 2012

Abstract

Accountants have risen to leadership positions in many large companies, but few have been successful in as many major corporations, and to such an extent, as was Ernest Robert Breech. His 1978 obituary stated that Breech had created “one of the greatest accounting careers in history” [Obituary, 1978]. Breech won the gold medal for achieving the highest score on the 1921 CPA Examination in Illinois. Following a short career as a bookkeeper with Fairbanks, Morse and Company, a manufacturer of scales, and other Chicago-area companies, he went to work for Yellow Cab Manufacturing Company. Yellow Cab became a part of General Motors Corporation (GM) where Breech apprenticed under the tutelage of F. Donaldson Brown, the inventor of the renowned Du Pont Formula and other financial breakthroughs. Breech became president of what was then a GM subsidiary, North American Aviation Corporation. He then moved to the presidency of Bendix Aviation. In 1946, Breech moved to Ford Motor Company, where he became chairman of the board, and where he remained until 1960. In 1961, he became chairman of the Board of Trans World Airlines (TWA). Thus, Breech enjoyed a career in the limelight — a career that led to him becoming known as the financial problem solver and troubleshooter for companies that needed to be revitalized. He was an intellectual catalyst who applied the lessons of accounting to modern industry.

Suggested Citation

Flesher, Dale L. and Previts, Gary J. and Moehrle, Stephen R., Ernest R. Breech: Award-Winning CPA and Corporate Financial Troubleshooter (May 29, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2070175

Dale L. Flesher (Contact Author)

University of Mississippi - Patterson School of Accountancy ( email )

School of Accountancy
200 Conner Hall
University, MS 38677
United States
+1 662 915-7623 (Phone)

Gary J. Previts

Case Western Reserve University - Department of Accountancy ( email )

Cleveland, OH 44106-7235
United States
216-368-2074 (Phone)
216-368-4776 (Fax)

Stephen R. Moehrle

University of Missouri at Saint Louis - Accounting Area ( email )

8001 Natural Bridge Road
St. Louis, MO 63121
United States
314-516-6142 (Phone)
314-516-6420 (Fax)

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