General Motors Chairman Jack Smith last week reaffirmed plans to retire next April, when he turns 65.
Smith confirmed his plans Tuesday, June 4, at GM's annual shareholder meeting in Wilmington, Del.
Smith became president of GM in April 1992, at the onset of a board of directors revolt that resulted in the departures of Chairman Robert Stempel and President Lloyd Reuss. Smith had been vice chairman in charge of international operations.
He became CEO in November 1992 and chairman in January 1996. Current CEO Rick Wagoner succeeded Smith in that post in June 2000.
Smith, who has said that GM was "a mess" in the early 1990s, embarked on a decade of cost cutting and reorganization. GM's head count fell sharply as engineering, marketing, dealer-relations and manufacturing organizations were merged.
Smith also pushed GM into overseas alliances with Suzuki Motor Corp., Isuzu Motors Ltd., Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (Subaru) and Fiat Auto S.p.A. As chairman, he retained a key role as a contact to alliance companies, particularly Asian ones. Most recently, Smith announced GM's deal to buy automotive assets of Daewoo Corp.
At the meeting, Wagoner said GM has increased its earnings estimate for 2002 to $6 a share, excluding wholly owned subsidiary Hughes Electronics Corp. and special charges, an increase of about $1.