anaging the finances of the world's largest industrial company before the age of 40 is pretty good preparation for Ray G. Young's current post: President and Managing Director of GM do Brasil, General Motors's third-largest manufacturing operation. At 42, Young remains securely on what may be the steepest career path in the American corporate world.
Young's family immigrated from Guangzhou, China in time for him to be born in Port Elgin. In high school Ray set academic records that stand to this day. Passing up offers from more prestigious colleges, he chose the University of Western Ontario for what's considered Canada's best business program. Young then rejected lucrative job offers to attend business school at the University of Chicago for an MBA. He then turned down offers from high-powered investment banks for an entry-level financial analyst for GM in 1986. The gamble paid off. Within two years he was promoted and transferred to GM's financial headquarters in New York.
“I often worked until 2 in the morning,” Young recalls of those early years, “because I worried that if I slowed down a pace, I'd fall behind.”