Bob Lutz, 85
Former Vice Chairman, General Motors
TITLE: Former Vice Chairman
COMPANY: General Motors
BASED: Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS After serving as a fighter pilot with the U.S. Marines, Zurich-born Lutz joined General Motors in Europe in 1963. He held a variety of senior sales and marketing positions with GM before moving to BMW, where he became sales and marketing chief. He was also Ford of Europe’s chairman and Chrysler’s executive vice president. Lutz rejoined GM as vice chairman in 2001 and retired in 2010.
REASON FOR WINNING During his 47-year career, Lutz was one of the industry’s most prominent product gurus. He was the co-father of the first modern BMW 3 series, the original Ford Explorer, the Dodge Viper and the Pontiac Solstice. Despite the high-octane gasoline in his blood, Lutz is a fully rounded auto executive, not just a product guy. He never achieved the No. 1 position in the companies he worked for – but his stamp on the industry has been far greater than many of the CEOs he served.