Alexander F. Giacco Sr., business leader
Al Giacco was CEO of three global companies between 1977 and 1995, and three times named industry CEO of the Year by Wall Street. But it was his impact on public policy in Delaware that puts him in the 50. As CEO of Hercules in the 1970s he admonished state political leaders that their income tax policies were killing jobs and warned that Hercules might leave. Delaware’s economy was moribund, its top tax rate was 19.8 percent and its unemployment rate was second highest in the country. State leaders followed Giacco’s advice and began reducing rates, over the years down to 7 percent. As rates dropped, job opportunities rebounded. No longer did young Delawareans have to leave the state to get a job. Next, with growth in chemicals plateauing, he pushed state leaders for policies encouraging new jobs, and suggested financial services. After much work, the Financial Center Development Act was created. Al Giacco’s championing of pro-growth public policies helped Delaware flourish for three decades.