Born in 1927 in Nebraska, Allen F. Jacobson graduated from Iowa State in 1947 with a degree in chemical engineering. That same year he began his career at 3M in their scotch tape laboratory, and remained with the company his entire professional life. He rose through the ranks at 3M, eventually becoming the chairman of the board and chief executive officer in 1986, retiring in 1991.
As CEO of the company Jacobson succeeded to grow 3M from $8.6 billion in revenue to $13 billion, and increase income from $779 million to $1.3 billion. In response to his many accomplishments establishing 3M as a world class company Jacobson appeared on the cover of Fortune Magazine in March 1988, a salute to 3M’s commitment to innovation.
In 1992 Jacobson was named as the American Manager of the Year by the National Management Association, and is also a member of the National Academy of Engineering.