James David “Dave” Power III
Founder and Retired Chairman of J.D. Power
We mourn the loss of James David “Dave” Power III, founder and retired chairman of J.D. Power, who passed away on Jan. 23, 2021 at the age of 89.
Dubbed “Mr. Quality” by Motor Trend magazine, Power was widely credited with transforming the auto industry by channeling detailed customer experience data into practical insights and critical intelligence that changed everything from manufacturing to marketing. He founded the company in 1968 with his wife Julie, and together they quickly built J.D. Power into one of the world’s most recognizable brands. With customer feedback often seen as less important by companies who provided products or services, Power was constantly motivated to bring attention to the “Voice of the Customer.” And he would often express his immense pride in his colleagues, or “Associates,” making such groundbreaking contributions to the company and the industries it served.
Data and analytic insights enabled significant quality improvements across every major automotive manufacturer. Today, J.D. Power is known throughout the world as a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics across every major industry.
As J.D. Power studies began to detect nascent industry trends and critical quality flaws, the industry began to embrace the company’s data as a critical source of industry intelligence, and a key component to product strategy. That recognition was memorialized in 1992 when Power received the Automotive Hall of Fame’s Distinguished Service Citation, which is awarded each year to the industry’s most accomplished leaders.
In the years that followed, Power successfully diversified the business, expanding into the financial services, healthcare, home, insurance, technology, media and telecom, travel and hospitality and utilities industries. Building on Power’s foundation of concrete experiential data and analytics, J.D. Power is now a global leader in the use of big data, artificial intelligence (AI) and algorithmic modeling to understand consumer behavior.
Power stepped back from day-to-day leadership of the company in 2005 but continued to stay involved in an advisory capacity for many years. Even after his retirement, Dave’s indomitable presence was felt throughout our business, both through the many lives he touched personally and the strong foundation of uncompromising values of independence and integrity he built for our amazing company. He will be deeply missed by all of us, but his spirit will live on in the work we will carry forward each day.
If there is any lesson from my career that can help a business survive and thrive in today’s environment, it is to keep adapting and adjusting as fast as possible, because change is coming more rapidly than ever. – Dave Power, 2013
"The world has lost a true pioneer and we have lost a visionary spirit that has continued to inspire, inform and galvanize our company’s growth for over 50 years. Those who were lucky enough to have worked closely with Dave remember a larger-than-life creative presence who encouraged constant innovation and close collaboration with a relentless focus on the values of independence, integrity and quality."
- Dave Habiger, President and CEO of J.D. Power
“I truly believe that he did more to improve quality and customer service in the auto industry than any person in history. Anyone who owns a vehicle has benefited from his genius.”
- Dave Sargent, VP of Automotive Quality - J.D. Power