Friday, May 20, 2011

Ex-GM CEO Robert stamp dies at 77

DETROIT - former General Motors co. CEO led the development of the catalyst but was Robert Stempel, an engineer in a boardroom coup, ousted, died on Saturday in Florida. He was 77.

During his stamp helped three decades in the company, to many of fuel-efficient and serving pollution-control technologies still in use vehicles, the catalyst and even battery-powered vehicles to develop today including front wheel-drive. Stamp was Chairman and CEO from 1990 to1992.

"He is the best engineer I worked with the world, have", said Stan Ovshinsky, ran energy conversion devices, a car battery development company stamp worked left GM.

But Mark's services as an engineer were overshadowed by his short tenure at the head of the company.

He and his management team have been forced out, according to GM North American operations of billions of dollars lost. While he was made responsible for the losses weren't, mark and his team as too slow move seen to resolve from the enterprise.

The native New Jersey earned a Bachelor's degree in science from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts, and a Masters in business administration from Michigan State University, according to GM's Heritage Center website.

Stamp started with Oldsmobile in 1958 as a Detailer in housing design, was contributed part of the team in 1966, to develop the Toronado. He developed the car front axle and the mounting system for engine and transmission. It was the first American front wheel-drive car in nearly three decades.

Today, most cars are front wheel-drive. They are lighter and more efficient than rear-wheel drives.

In the 1970s recognized stamp the need, cut pollution and cars more efficient, help lead a company-wide shift to smaller, more efficient vehicles, said Lloyd Reuss, GM President.

Stamp led the development of the catalyst, the precious metals such as Platinum, used to convert the harmful gases from the combustion into less harmful.

He was later Vice President and Group Executive appointed Buick-Oldsmobile-Cadillac group and executive Vice President of GM.

Stamp and Reuss "favorite rise to the top of the company on the strength of their technical knowledge, were both", said Gerald Meyers, Professor at the Stephen M. Ross School of business of the University of Michigan and former President, Chief Executive and Chair of the American Motors Corp.

"they were faithful in the society in the design and engineering, and even production of some of the vehicles," said Meyers. "Bob was a product of the old system - many layers of management and many of the committees and many mistakes." "However, he rose to the top."

He drove the development of the GM EV1 electric car in the 1990's.

In contrast to the "financial gurus", who had run the automaker for decades, stamp brought a change, Meyers added.

"It was a very difficult time," he said. "The Federal Republic of requirements and restrictions on design were the hold taking." Then came the recession of the early 90s. This was doomsday for Bob and Lloyd. "The losses began, caused by the excesses of the Corporation provide, the in was built."

Meyers, which Township was also a friend and neighbor of the stamps in Michigan's Bloomfield, said stamp devastated if was removed from the top at GM.

After his career, stamp energy conversion devices Board became Chair. He retired from energy conversion devices in 2007.

Stamp was a visionary, saw the need for the United States, from foreign oil be independent Ovshinsky said.

"He knew how it could easily be electric cars if you had the batteries, the battery was the missing link and that is why he came to me," said Ovshinsky.

1975, Stamp's son was kidnapped Tim by chance at skateboarding in suburban Detroit. Stamp paid for the teenager release a 150,000 dollar ransom. The two kidnappers were captured and guilty during the trial.


AP writer Ed white, Corey Williams and Mike householder in Detroit contributed to this story.

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