One big worry for the execs at the top of General Motors concerns Bob Lutz, the ultimate man’s man, car guy, and the boss most responsible for saving GM’s vehicle lineup. (And yes, financial problems aside, the vehicle lineup is doing just fine.) Lutz, now 77, has already retired once. He served as vice chairman of the company under former CEO Rick Wagoner, acted as chief marketing officer for a few months, and is now back with the vice chairman title, acting as a special advisor to Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre.
Lutz is often asked when he plans to retire. At a media event this week, Lutz said he’s got four criteria for judging whether or not he’ll stick around:
First, the board has to be willing to have him around. Second, his health matters. Third, he’s got to have the energy to stick with the job. "And fourth, do I feel like I’m making a legitimate contribution as opposed to just hanging in," he says. "I’ve not ever made a good mascot."
While he’s clearly thinking about what his exit strategy might be, if family history is a guide, Lutz may be a long ways off from quitting: His father worked until he was 94, and stopped working just four weeks before he died.