Michael Schwandt, B.B.A.'13

Team Lead – Semiconductors, General Motors

  • Pictured is Michael Schwandt leaning on a black truck

    Lifesaving Leader

    As an expert in supply chain management, Michael Schwandt has always found his work to be rewarding. But he never imagined that in 2020—a year that would change everything—his expertise would save lives.

Schwandt is part of a team at General Motors that, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, was tasked with developing a complete supply chain for ventilators within a 72-hour timeframe. Through a collaboration with StopTheSpread.org and Ventec Life Systems, the team worked around the clock to increase production of Ventec’s respiratory care products by thousands of units a week. This effort led to the delivery of over 30,000 ventilators to hospitals around the country.

Outside of supporting the growing fight against the pandemic, Schwandt serves as team lead for semiconductors at GM and is responsible for sourcing nearly $3 billion of business annually. Prior to this role, he held positions with both Ford and Apple and has worked on projects including the iPhone, MacBook and Apple Watch. His career has taken him to Germany, Japan, Thailand, Israel and beyond, and his latest adventure is earning his MBA through the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Hidden Talent: “I am passionate about woodworking and like to build my own furniture.”