Executive pay: A few words from the boss (No. 3)

The final installment in our series of Q&As with Houston execs willing to share a few things with us around our annualexecutive pay survey , which ran last weekend.
Today’s executive: Peter Kinnear, Chairman, President and CEO, FMC Technologies.

Peter D. Kinnear, President and CEO of FMC Technologies. (Steve Campbell/ Chronicle)

Q: When you were a child, what did you think you’d be when you grew up?
A: I was always intrigued by math and sciences. I did get my degree in Engineering, but quickly branched out into business operations.
Q: What business person do you most admire?
A: Early in my career I became drawn to Peter Drucker’s books and his focus on decentralization of the enterprise. “The Practice of Management” is a masterpiece.
Q: What are you reading now?
A; “Catastrophe” by Dick Morris, a perspective on the transformation happening in America.
Q: If you could have dinner with anybody in the world who would it be?
A: I am fairly traditional and would have to pick Warren Buffett. I admire his achievements and the great conclusions he comes to by synthesizing many facts.
Q: What’s the gutsiest decision you’ve ever made?
A: Early in my career I was asked to go run our subsea business, which at the time was small and losing money. I had to choose switching from a great job at my company to the unknown. I took on a difficult task, which, thanks to the support of many talented employees, we have now built this business to be our largest and fastest growing.
Q: What’s the best investment you ever made?
A: Participating in the IPO of our company in 2001. The transformation we achieved has been very successful for our employees, customers and shareholders.
Q: What do you do to unwind?
A: I enjoy golfing, going to Colorado in the summers, and just recently my wife Jeanne and I bought kayaks to relax on the weekends. We also have a house full of pets that keep us busy.
Q: What’s your favorite charity to give to?
A: I am a big supporter of United Way of Greater Houston. I also want to thank our employees, as they also raise and contribute significant funds for the community as well.
Q: What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
A: Be open, honest and trustworthy. Communicate a simple vision for everyone to understand. To me it’s all about people.