The writer is a retired GM executive.
To the Editor:
I perused with interest "The last quarter century" about Peter Brown's Petey Awards (April 22).
While I believe that "vision + execution = success," I do not agree that the visionary must also be the executioner. Many of Leonardo da Vinci's visionary ideas were executed many years later by others.
I also do not agree that Roger Smith should be considered a candidate for "Worst visionary" because of Saturn. I'll agree that he did not have a backing support team to execute his vision. As for a clear vision, I drive a 4-year old Saturn Aura XR, and it is one of the finest cars I have ever driven. I say that after a 32-year career at General Motors during which I drove virtually every GM car.
On the other hand, I would move Sergio Marchionne from "Best dealmaker" to "Best visionary" because he is an example of vision and execution in a single person.
However, I would keep Jack Smith in all the "worst" categories primarily because of his $2 billion Fiat fiasco, as well as other faux pas, including his personal praise for and elevation of Inaki Lopez, the "Biggest villain."
Finally, while Bob Lutz is certainly the "Biggest personality," he is also "Best visionary" without personally executing his visions but knowing where, why, by whom and how they should be taken over to reach reality.