Malcolm Stamper was the longest serving President in Boeing’s history and was best known for leading 50,000 people in the race to build the 747 jetliner. Stamper grew up in Detroit and joined Boeing in 1962 after working for General Motors. His first assignment at Boeing was to sell its ailing gas turbine division to Caterpillar. Following this success, Boeing president William M. Allen asked Stamper to spearhead production of the new 747 airplane on which the company's future was riding. This was a monumental engineering and management challenge, and included construction of the world's biggest factory in which to build the 747 at Everett, Washington, a plant which is the size of 40 football fields.