ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Former General Motors executive Blair Thompson, who helped lay the foundation for parts supplier Delphi Automotive, died Jan. 29. He was 89.
After graduating from high school in 1945, Thompson began his GM career at the Saginaw Steering Gear Division while studying industrial engineering at the GM Institute in Flint, both in Michigan.
He received a master’s degree in industrial management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1958 and would go on to become chief engineer at the GM gear division. In 1974, he became the general manager of the Delco Products Division in Dayton, Ohio, and then general manager of the Packard Electric Division in Warren, Ohio. He returned to Saginaw Steering Gear as the general manager.
In 1984, GM promoted Thompson to the new position of group vice president of the automotive components group. He would become responsible for consolidating 15 GM parts divisions that employed 230,000 people worldwide. The restructured parts operation became Automotive Components Group in 1994.
In 1995, ACG was renamed Delphi Automotive Systems. In 1999, Delphi was spun off by GM into an independent company.