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Bob Stempel-LAST Engr to Run GM- R.I.P.

11 05 11 - 21:46

Robert Stempel was the last Engineer to hold the mantle of CEO at GM. He was a true "Enginerd", car guy, & tinkerer. Bob, as he was know around the Tech Center, passed away Tuesday @ the age of 77. He was well liked & well respected by everyone inside GM in those days. We were overjoyed to see "one of us" working in "Mahogany Row", it made us want to do more to help him succeed.

Stempel's tenure followed Roger "Squeaky" Smith's, who was arguably the WORST thing to ever befall GM in its long history. Smith saddled him with a bloated, debt laden, top heavy, fully disfunctional corporation that had way too much capacity for its shrunken market share. The Recession of 1991, meant that plants had to close to keep the company afloat & people had to be cut loose. (see Tarrytown posting) Bob had too big of a heart & tried to find alternatives to blowing out folks he'd worked with for years. His big heart & loyalty to the workforce was his undoing. The Proctor & Gamble scoundrels took the opportunity to get the Board to toss him out in '92, whereupon they took over running GM. Smale became Chairman & Zarella set about squandering untold millions of the companies cash reserves with his "Brand Management" tomfoolery.

Over the years, Bob was granted numerous Patents (catalytic converters, electric conversion devices, etc), but gearheads he will always be tied to the 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado, which he helped design as a young Engineer.

You'll see we somehow managed to get ourselves into every trying situation, as if something were needed to break the monotony, that made the occasion even more unforgettable.(Originally published in the December 1965 issue of Motor Trend)
Read more: motortrend.com

Thanks Bob, we still miss you, it's getting hard to find car guys these days.
two comments

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