DETROIT -- One way or another, Jerry York figures to make a giant impression on General Motors in the coming weeks and months.
If nothing else, sheer force of personality will give the 67-year-old former Chrysler CFO more clout than a lone seat on the 12-member board would suggest.
A senior adviser to billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian, York will join GM's board a few weeks after calling on the company to cut the dividend, slash executive salaries and sell the Saab and Hummer brands.
How York will wield his new power is anyone's guess. But GM's top management will almost certainly feel his zeal.
For one thing, there is the West Point graduate's work ethic.
York spent hundreds of hours researching GM before giving his now-famous speech to auto analysts last month in Detroit, said longtime acquaintance Dave Cole, head of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Mich.
It's not that other GM board members don't take their duties seriously. But it is hard to imagine anyone throwing himself into board work as ferociously as York.
A former colleague said that in York's Chrysler days the chain-smoking executive would grind away at his desk into the wee hours.
The colleague joked: "When you received the marked-up memos the next day, you could tell how late it had been by the degree of illegibility and the amount of profanity."