Although he’s evaded retirement on a couple occasions, Robert “Bob” Lutz will retire from General Motors on May 1. The 78-year-old is presently GM’s vice chairman, and a senior advisor to Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre.
“The influence Bob Lutz had on GM’s commitment to design, build, and sell the world’s best vehicles will last for years to come,” Whitacre said in a statement. “I, along with many other men and women in GM and throughout the industry, have greatly benefited from his passion, wisdom, and guidance.”
In February 2009, Lutz announced he would leave the company, but “unretired,” as then-CEO Fritz Henderson put it, as GM emerged from bankruptcy. Lutz then took charge of all creative elements of products and customer relationships, and championed GM’s most recent “May the Best Car Win” ad campaign — most famously with a Cadillac CTS-V and a wet Monticello Motor Club racetrack. He was then appointed as a senior advisor in December 2009.
According to a statement Lutz released through GM, his retirement reportedly comes as he believes the job he took on nine years ago is complete.
“Our product lineup is as strong as it has been in GM’s history,” Lutz said. “The absolute commitment to being a product-driven company is ingrained throughout the organization — from the top down — and I am confident that, under Ed Whitacre’s leadership, the straightforward, singular focus on product will endure.”
As one of the most experienced U.S. auto industry veterans, Lutz has previously worked for all three of the Detroit automakers at various points in his long career.