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Former GM President and civic leader Lloyd Reuss dies at 86

Although his career ended over 30 years ago, the widely publicized shakeup didn't define his retirement.

Lloyd Reuss, former president of General Motors and devoted civic leader, passed away on April 21, 2023, at age 86. At 36 years old, Reuss began his career at GM after serving two years in the U.S. Army as a first lieutenant of engineers. 

At GM, Reuss was the chief engineer of both Buick and Chevrolet. He was appointed to general manager of Buick in 1980 and led the brand to an all-time sales record in 1983. He also took over responsibility for all North American operations and worldwide automotive components.  

It was in 1990 that Reuss became president of GM. As president, he led the GM Impact project, a concept car that later evolved into the EV1—the predecessor of today’s EVs. The same year Reuss took over as president, his longstanding colleague, Robert Stemper, was appointed CEO. Stempel tried to gradually reorganize the company, which was suffering significant financial and market share losses. Reuss ended his tenure as president in April 1992, and Stempel resigned in October of the same year. The Washington Post called it the “biggest boardroom revolution in recent U.S. corporate history.” 

Although his career ended over 30 years ago, the widely publicized shakeup didn’t define his retirement. After retiring from GM, he committed himself to the community. He joined Focus: HOPE, a Detroit non-profit that aims to combat racism and injustice by providing education in predominantly minority neighborhoods. 

At Focus: HOPE, Lloyd created the Center for Advanced Technologies, which allowed more than 300 underserved students to earn associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in engineering. 

In light of the news, current GM CEO Mary Barra stated, “Lloyd Reuss was a talented executive and leader of GM and was a strong force for good in the community with his service, dedication, and tireless efforts on behalf of others.” She continues, “My thoughts and deepest sympathies, along with those of everyone at GM, are with the entire Reuss family.” 

The Reuss family has four generational ties to GM. Lloyd’s father ran a Chevrolet dealership in Illinois, his son was appointed president of GM in January 2019, his daughter, Charlene Reuss Grandelius, worked in GM purchasing from 1982 to 1995, and his granddaughter, Amanda Reuss, has held several positions at GM in communications and marketing. 

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Jaelyn Campbell
Jaelyn Campbell
Jaelyn Campbell is a staff writer/reporter for CBT News. She is a recent honors cum laude graduate with a BFA in Mass Media from Valdosta State University. Jaelyn is an enthusiastic creator with more than four years of experience in corporate communications, editing, broadcasting, and writing. Her articles in The Spectator, her hometown newspaper, changed how people perceive virtual reality. She connects her readers to the facts while providing them a voice to understand the challenges of being an entrepreneur in the digital world.

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