16. Gene Haas

Gene Haas
Age 68
Occupation Owner, Haas Racing and Haas Automotive
Nationality American
Position Last Year 26

Gene Haas was born on November 12, 1952, in the industrial town of Youngstown, Ohio. For someone born in what used to be known as the “Industrial Heartland of North America,” it is appropriate that Haas has become a captain of industry, where his company, Haas Automation is the largest CNC machine tool builder in North America.

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Haas graduated from high school in Mission Hills, California, in 1970. After high school, he attended California State University Northridge where he studied engineering and business. He graduated in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting and finance.

The 92,903-square-meter (1-million-square-foot) facility in Oxnard is one of the largest, most modern machine tool manufacturing operations in the United States. Haas Automation currently produces four major product lines: vertical machine centres (VMCs), horizontal machine centres (HMCs), computer numeric control (CNC) lathes and rotary tables.

On April 11, 2014, Gene Haas was granted a license by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) to join the starting grid of the FIA Formula One World Championship in 2016. In its inaugural season, the Haas F1 Team finished eighth in the constructors’ standings with a total of 29 points, the most of any new team in this millennium. Haas F1 Team scored 93 points in 2018 to finish fifth in the constructors’ standings – its best season to date in Formula 1.

The first American Formula One team since 1986 operates out of an 11,600-square-meter (125,000-square-foot) facility adjacent to Haas’ NASCAR Cup Series team in Kannapolis, North Carolina. Haas F1 Team also has a European base in Banbury, Oxfordshire, U.K., allowing for easier and quicker access to the team’s overseas suppliers and streamlined logistics for travel to European Formula 1 venues.

The Gene Haas Foundation has provided charitable donations since 2001 including Hospice Foundation, Boy Scouts of America, Los Angeles Mission, YMCA Kids Camp, NAACP, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, MS Society, and others.

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