Jim Bauman leads 3M’s Industrial Business Group, which produces products that go into everything from aerospace equipment to purification systems around the world. If there’s one thing he appreciates about his 36-year career at 3M, it’s the opportunity it’s given him to dig into the details as an engineer, and to work at the business and strategy level as an executive.
“3M has outstanding values, and we encourage people to do their best and make a difference," Jim says. "We provide opportunities for everyone to learn and grow as leaders."
Jim began at 3M as an engineer in 1982. He went on to work in the company’s Magnetic Audio Video Division, and moved from his native Midwest to Oklahoma. A few years later, Jim became managing director of 3M Thailand. He returned to the U.S. in 2001 to a position at 3M’s campus in Austin, Texas. A few more years in Minnesota, and then Jim was back in Asia, serving first as general manager in Hong Kong and going on to oversee the Asia Pacific region.
Jim came back to Minnesota in early 2015 to serve as senior vice president of Business Transformation, Americas. Later that year he was named executive vice president of 3M’s Electronics and Energy Business Group, where he led significant actions to prioritize the portfolio – including consolidating businesses – in order to improve customer relevance, increase productivity and support growth. He served in that role until July 2017, when he was appointed executive vice president of the company’s Industrial Business Group. The greatest compliment he’s ever received, he says, is that his passion for his work is evident because he puts so much of himself into it.
That might be because a science-based company like 3M is exciting to Jim, who laughs as he refers to himself as a “closet roboticist.” Besides a fascination with robotics, Jim’s other hobbies include running. He’s also spent a significant amount of time engaged with nonprofits, including St. Paul Youth Services and the Austin United Way Young Leaders Society.