Robert Stempel, former GM CEOThe Detroit Free Press is reporting that former General Motors CEO Robert C. Stempel has passed away in Florida at the age of 77. The chief executive began his career at GM as an engineer in 1958, but worked his way up to several high-ranking jobs by the 1970s. After running Pontiac, Opel and the Buick-Oldsmobile-Cadillac group, Stempel was named CEO in 1990. His time as CEO was a short one due in part to a loss of $7 billion in 1991. The tumultuous time included 12 plant closures and the loss of 74,000 jobs, which lead to a boardroom revolt.

The former CEO was also a gifted engineer, leading the development of the catalytic converter. Stempel also used his engineering prowess to help push for the EV1 electric car, and after his time at GM he continued to work on other green technologies including solar power. GM has issued a statement thanking Stempel for his service at the automaker, calling him "a very popular chairman with employees."