Quality Magazine

Crosby, Zero Defects Originator, Dead at 75

May 19, 2003
Philip Crosby, the developer of the zero defects concept, died of respiratory failure on August 18. He was 75.

Crosby's work began on an assembly line where he decided his goal would be to teach management that preventing problems was more profitable than being good at fixing them.

While working as quality manager at Martin-Marietta, Crosby developed the concept of zero defects. His philosophy was that if people are expected to make mistakes, they will, but if the goal of no defects is expected from the start, people will work toward that goal and quality will improve.

In 1979, Crosby founded Philip Crosby Associates Inc. (PCA). PCA taught management how to establish a preventive culture to get things done right the first time. Clients included General Motors, Chrysler, Motorola and Xerox.

Upon retiring from PCA in 1991, Crosby founded Career IV Inc., a company that provided lecturers and seminars aimed at helping current and prospective executives grow.

In 1997, Crosby purchased the assets of PCA and established Philip Crosby Associates II Inc. and the Quality College. Clients range from multinational conglomerates to small manufacturing and service companies that are looking for assistance in the im-plementation of their quality improvement processes.