Linda Taylor, who managed a top-100 commercial fleet for Diebold until late 2013, died at her Louisville, Ohio, home Wednesday after a long battle with cancer. She was 62.
Taylor retired as the fleet manager of Diebold, Inc., in November. She spent 44 years with the company, eventually overseeing a fleet of 3,783 vehicles that now ranks among the 100 largest commercial fleets in the U.S. Diebold primarily manufactures, installs, and services ATMs.
Taylor was born in Canton, Ohio, where Diebold is headquartered, and took a position with the company shortly after graduating from Louisville High School in 1969. Two years later, she moved into the fleet department. She moved into positions of increasing responsibility, eventually becoming fleet manager in 1990.
In the early 2000s, Taylor adjusted Diebold's leasing strategy, fine-tuning its payments for cars, trucks, and vans. Diebold shortened the lease term for its Ford Focus sedans and extended it for its vans to better take advantage of the residual value of the vehicles. The move resulted in a cost savings for Diebold.
Taylor also outsourced vehicle ordering and taking of driver phone calls to a fleet management company. She negotiated an exclusive three-year contract with the Ford Motor Co. to save $2.5 million per model-year. At the time, Taylor was the sole manager of the fleet's 3,400 vehicles.
Taylor was a strong proponent of fuel cards, once telling Automotive Fleet in an interview that "a large network of fuel providers is extremely important to our global fleet."
When she retired, Taylor managed 1,259 cars, 676 Class 1-2 trucks, and 1,848 vans.
Automotive Fleet named Taylor as a nominee for the 2002 Fleet Manager of the Year award, based on voting by a panel of industry judges. The magazine also recognized her among several "fleet women of influence" in a 2008 feature article.
Taylor leaves behind her mother, daughter, and a granddaughter.