What happens to chief executives of car companies after they leave their leadership posts? Not all of them disappear. Sometimes it just seems that way. Here is a sampling of the afterlives of former European automotive bosses compiled by Automotive News Europe.
Arno Bohn, Porsche's chief executive from 1990-92, left as the company's troubles multiplied in the recession of the early 1990s. After Porsche, the longtime Nixdorf Computer AG executive became managing director of General Electric's GE Medical Systems Unit in Buc, France, near Paris. Bohn moved the division into the black by 1995, then left to become CEO of General Electric Deutschland. He left GE nine months ago and now works as a management consultant.
Heinz Branitzki joined Porsche as financial manager in 1965 and became board member for finance in 1976. He succeeded Peter Schutz as Porsche chief executive in 1988 but retired two years later to enjoy his hobbies: mountain walking, skiing and historic literature. He lives in the Stuttgart area.
Three years ago, Keith Butler-Wheelhouse did what few executives could afford to do - he resigned the top job at General Motors' Saab Automobile unit because he was tired of cold and distant Sweden.
The South African native ended up in the United Kingdom. Butler-Wheelhouse is now CEO of Smith Industries, which makes aerospace and medical systems equipment.
Although Butler-Wheelhouse left the car business, he retains a major stake in Delta Motors, assembler of GM models in South Africa. He led a management buyout of the company in 1987.
Calvet left the top job at PSA/Peugeot-Citroen in October 1997. Since then he has been an active board member of several companies, including the French bank Societe Generale, retailers Galeries Lafayette and Groupe Andre, and the insurance giant Axa. He is an adviser to Banque de France - the French central bank - and the German insurer Allianz.
Calvet also stays in touch with Pierre Peugeot, the head of the PSA supervisory board and Peugeot family leader.
Calvet also finds time to write books. In 1998, he published The Great Collapse: How To Prevent It, a criticism of France's policy toward the European Union following the Maastricht and Amsterdam treaties. Calvet was expected to run in the European Parliament election last June. He didn't but is now thinking of starting his political career as a candidate in the Paris municipal elections in 2001.
The chairman of Ford of Europe in the mid-1990s, Caspers joined Ford in 1958 as a trainee. He retired in 1996 but didn't quite get the carefree life of fishing and puttering around the house that he had wanted. Caspers still lives in Cologne, Germany, where Ford of Europe has its headquarters. He spends a lot of time in his duties as chairman of Ford of Germany's supervisory board.
His office is just a few steps from those of the current leaders of Ford of Europe - only it's much smaller than his old one.
Vittorio Di Capua
Vittorio Di Capua held key commercial and financial positions for 40 years at Fiat Auto and was chief executive of Lamborghini from 1996-99. He now is head of Natuzzi, the maker of the Divani & Divani sofas in his hometown of Matera in southern Italy.
In the automobile industry, John Egan will be remembered for steering Jaguar into the embrace of Ford Motor Co. in 1989. When he left Jaguar after the merger, Egan quit the auto industry and went on to success in areas far removed from it.
His main job during the 1990s was as chairman of BAA PLC, the company that privatized airports in London and elsewhere in the United Kingdom. Under Egan's guidance, London's airports became retail powerhouses as the airports under BAA control developed into major shopping centers.
Egan retired from BAA last autumn and now is chairman of MEPC, a real estate company. Egan also has served on numerous boards in nonexecutive positions.
Hakan Frisinger is a Volvo man through and through. He stepped down as AB Volvo chairman in April 1999 after 48 years with the company. He now has retired from most business life, although he still sits on the board of Swedish furniture retailer IKEA.
Vittorio Ghidella was ousted as Fiat Auto CEO in November 1988. After a year of consulting with Ford Motor Co. and various auto suppliers in Italy (Graziano Trasmissioni) and in Switzerland (Saurer Group), he retired. He lives near Lugano, Switzerland.
Soren Gyll replaced Pehr Gyllenhammar as chief executive of Volvo in 1993, after the abortive attempt to merge with Renault. During his four-year term, Gyll trimmed Volvo back to the basics, selling its drug and consumer product interests and bringing it back into the black.
Gyll now is chairman of pharmaceutical giant Pharmacia & Upjohn. It's a long way from the car industry. The company's products include the incontinence cure Detrol, AIDS treatment Rescriptor and baldness therapy Rogaine.
Gyll was appointed chairman of the Federation of Swedish Industries in September 1999 and recently visited China as part of a Swedish trade delegation.
AB Volvo's chairman between 1971-93, Pehr Gyllenhammar resigned after failing to complete his proposed merger with Renault. Gyllenhammar later worked at the New York investment bank Lazard Freres. Since 1998, he has been chairman of CGU, the United Kingdom's largest insurance company.
Carl Hahn expected life to slow down when he reached his 70s. It hasn't, although he did retire as chairman of the Volkswagen AG supervisory board two years ago when he turned 70.
Hahn ran Volkswagen through most of the 1980s. After retiring as management board boss in 1991, he chose to remain living in sleepy Wolfsburg, Germany, VW's hometown. But he's a jet-setter. Hahn serves on so many corporate boards and makes so many trips to the United States that he has a special code on his passport that whisks him through the long lines at U.S. passport check lines.
Last autumn, he was named one of 'Corporate America's Outstanding Directors for 1999' by the publishers of Director's Alert.
He remains a member of the VW supervisory board and is honorary chairman of Audi, Seat and Skoda. Among the many boards he serves on in Europe and America are Perot Systems, Benetton, Thyssen and TRW. He also is adviser to the prime minister of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan and president of the German-Czech Chamber of Commerce.
Hahn's office is on the top floor of the Wolfsburg art museum. His influence has helped the otherwise obscure museum attract top exhibitions. Despite his busy schedule, Hahn still makes time to spend at his villa on the Italian island of Sardinia - near the homes of the Aga Khan and ItalDesign's Giorgetto Giugiaro.
Bernard Hanon was dismissed as Renault chairman in January 1985 by French Prime Minister Laurent Fabius. But he has never lost touch with the auto industry. He shows up at all of the major auto shows throughout the world. Among his French industry colleagues, Hanon still is considered a man with a great sense of product.
He often is invited by Porsche or Ferrari to drive their new cars. Hanon & Associes, the consulting firm he founded in 1986, has been an adviser not only to corporate mergers and acquisitions but to central European governments. In the early 1990s, he helped to restructure car and truck industries in the region after the fall of communism.
After a long career at BMW, Walter Hasselkus took over as chief executive of BMW's Rover subsidiary in September 1996. He had plans to turn Rover into an upmarket global brand but resigned in December 1998 saying 'someone had to stand up and be counted' over mounting losses.
Hasselkus came to Rover directly from running BMW's motorcycle division. He led BMW's marketing, distribution and sales operation in the United Kingdom from 1980-84, and was in charge of the company's South African operations for five years. Before joining BMW Hasselkus worked for Osram, the electrical company.
Hasselkus moved back to Germany and now has retired.
The day Bill Hayden was due to move from his home in Essex, England, to Warwickshire, England, in 1990, he couldn't help his family with the moving because he had to go into the hospital for an emergency triple heart bypass. Hayden, the tough-talking former manufacturing chief of Ford of Europe, recovered sufficiently to take over the chairmanship of Jaguar. Under his stern guidance, Jaguar recovered. But the heart operation had been a warning. Hayden was never one to take it easy on the job.
The stress of turning Jaguar around took its toll on his health, and he decided to retire in 1992, giving way to Nick Scheele. Hayden now lives quietly with his wife at his country cottage in the Warwickshire village of Henley-in-Arden.
David Herman was the first chairman of Saab Automobile in 1990 after General Motors bought 50 percent of the company. In 1992, he became chairman of GM's Adam Opel subsidiary. His rise came to an abrupt halt in 1998 when a management crisis and conflict with Lou Hughes, president of GM International, led to his transfer to Russia.
The ruble collapsed shortly after Herman's arrival in Moscow as GM's vice president for Russia and the former communist markets. GM's plans were put on hold, but Herman still is in Russia. He lives in an apartment in Moscow but on weekends returns to his home near Russelsheim, Germany, where the rest of his family remains.
Volvo always has been renowned for promoting safety. So it's no surprise to find Roger Holtback, chief executive of the company between 1983-90, involved in health care.
Holtback is managing director of Swedish investment company Bure, which recently bought St. Goran's hospital in Stockholm. Bure has taken advantage of upheavals in Sweden's health care system and has invested heavily in this area.
Bure also has several information technology interests.
In 1996 Holtback was rumored to be a candidate to take over as managing director of Swedish car safety equipment maker Autoliv.
Once considered the heir-apparent to GM Chairman Jack Smith, Lou Hughes now is GM's low-key vice president for new business strategies in Detroit.
His career as chairman of Adam Opel, president of GM Europe and later Zurich-based head of GM international operations, was sidelined by a management revolt at Opel in 1998. Hughes last made news in March 1999 when it became public that he was a top candidate for chairman of UAL Corp., the Elk Grove Township, Ill., parent company of United Airlines. Hughes didn't get the job.
Georg Karnsund was chief executive of Saab-Scania for seven years before becoming chairman of the Swedish National Road Administration in 1990. He held that post for four years and is now on the boards of several smaller companies including construction machinery maker Svedala.
Franz-Josef Kortum, Audi's chief executive from 1993-94, spent most of his career at Daimler-Benz. After leaving the top job in Ingolstadt, he joined the German roof systems supplier Webasto in Munich as chief executive. He still holds that job today.
Former Renault Chairman Raymond Levy may be the busiest of the former French carmaker CEOs. He is chairman of the supervisory board of CDR (Consortium de realisation), the body set up by the French government to sell the risky nonbanking operations of the troubled state-owned Credit Lyonnais. He also is chairman of the supervisory board of Lagardere SCA, a major defense and media group that includes the French publisher Hachette and the defense and aeronautics group Matra-Aerospatiale. Since 1994 he also has been chairman of Cercle de l'industrie, an influential business lobby created by Dominique Strauss-Kahn, France's former ministry of finance. Levy also is honorary chairman of Renault, where he still has an office and a personal assistant.
Graham Morris, former chief executive of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, resigned after the takeover battle for the group resulted in the splitting of the Rolls-Royce and Bentley marques between Volks-wagen and BMW. He called the decision 'very bizarre' and quit on principle. Morris now is chairman of Jensen Cars, and is intent on reviving the classic English sports car brand. Jensen made a comeback at last October's London motor show with the launch of its S V-8 roadster and the appointment of a new United Kingdom dealer network.
Ake Norrman was chief executive of Saab Automobile between 1987-89. He switched his allegiance from cars to trucks, becoming head of sales and marketing overseas for Swedish bus and truck maker Scania. Norrman was closely involved with Scania's move into China and helped establish a joint venture with local maker Shandong Bus.
In February 1997 Norrman became managing director of Svenska Volks-wagen AB, joint-ly owned by Scania and VW.
After leaving as chairman of PSA/Peugeot-Citroen SA in 1984, Jean-Paul Parayre played a key role at Dumez, a large construction group that was owned at that time by his wife's family, the Chaufours. He earned the family a great deal of money by merging Dumez with utility group Lyonnaise des Eaux in 1990.
Parayre later was the chairman of Transmanche, the consortium that built the Channel tunnel between France and England.
Since 1994 Parayre has been partnered with French businessman Vincent Bollore, who owns France's biggest shipping company SCAC Delmas.
Parayre also is a member the boards of PSA/Peugeot-Citroen, Vallourec (steel), Coflexip (offshore equipment) and Stena (shipping).
Edzard Reuter, the son of the first postwar mayor of Berlin, was chief executive of Daimler-Benz from 1987-95. Reuter turned Daimler-Benz into a diversified industrial conglomerate, pushing the company - unsuccessfully, as it turned out - into such businesses as consumer appliances and aeronautics. He later wrote a book that sharply criticized his successor, Juergen Schrempp. But Reuter still keeps an office at DaimlerChrysler's headquarters in Stuttgart because of his former status as company chief executive. He also gets a chauffeur-driven company car. He lives in the Stuttgart area, is a member of the supervisory board of the Berliner Bank and spends much of his time sailing.
Cesare Romiti retired as Fiat Group chairman in 1998. He now is chairman of Rizzoli-Corriere della Sera, Italy's largest publishing group. He also is a major shareholder of HDP, a holding company with interests in the publishing and fashion industries.
The former president of NedCar in Born, Netherlands, Frans Sevenstern left in late 1996. Sevenstern, who spent most of his career at Shell, masterminded the joint venture among Volvo, Mitsubishi and the Dutch state.
Not an automotive man by nature or education, he later was appointed president of Connexion, a Dutch public transport board that supervises the integration of national bus companies.
John Towers has gone down in United Kingdom auto industry history as the man whose downfall from the top job at Rover Group was famously chronicled in a 1996 BBC TV documentary series. Towers was the mild-mannered, thoughtful executive trying to modernize an antiquated, poorly funded carmaker, while struggling to deal with the management approach of new owner BMW.
When they realized just how good a story they were getting, the TV crew extended filming by eight months. By that time, Towers had said goodbye to the company that would become known in Germany as 'The English Patient,' and BMW was heading toward the boardroom bust-up that would result in the departure of Bernd Pischetsrieder and Wolfgang Reitzle in early 1999.
Since then, Towers has opted for a quieter existence. After leaving Rover, he took a few months of vacation to get his golf handicap and his blood pressure down. He then took a job as chief executive of Concentric, a United Kingdom company. In 1998, he became chairman of another engineering company, Serck Heat Transfer Group.
He maintains his ties to the auto industry through Serck, which makes exhaust gas coolers for such vehicles as the Ford Focus, Land Rover Discovery, VW Golf and Passat - and even the BMW 3 series.
Eberhard Von Kuenheim
BMW's management CEO from 1970-93, Eberhard von Kuenheim heads a new foundation bearing his name. After von Kuenheim retired last year as chairman of the supervisory board, shareholders created the Eberhard von Kuenheim Foundation as a gesture of honor. The foundation now is being set up. Its main mission is to promote and fund engineering development and young engineers. Von Kuenheim still lives in Munich but spends time at the family home of his wife in Saxonia, in eastern Germany.
Peter Ward stepped down as chief executive of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars in 1995. He took up the same role with Cunard, the United Kingdom shipping company, in the summer of that year, and set about improving its image after a series of damaging stories about Cunard's QE2 luxury liner. At the start of 1997, Ward became chief executive of Jardine Mathieson's car distribution division, Jardine International Motor Holdings. He will leave Jardine at the end of February.
Forced out as chairman of Mercedes-Benz in January 1997, Helmut Werner walked the auto show at Frank-furt last autumn as an observer with his personal assistant.
Werner is chairman of the supervisory board of Expo 2000, a major exposition planned for this year in Hannover, Germany. He also sits on a handful of company boards.
After two years as AB Volvo chief executive, Christer Zetterberg left the company in 1992 with 22 million Swedish kronor ($3 million) in his pocket - at the time, the largest payoff ever made to a Swedish company executive.
A year later, Zetterberg moved to London to become managing director of venture capital company Merchant Venture In-vestments. He remains involved in the venture capital area and is chairman of Industrial Develop-ment and Investment, a private equity fund also supported by former Volvo chief executive Soren Gyll. Zetterberg also is chairman of Swedish information technology firm Turnit.