We're saddened to report the death of John G. Smale. Considered an outsider to the automotive industry upon his appointment, Smale served as chairman of General Motors from November 1992 to the end of 1995.

A member of GM's board since 1982, Smale was named chairman at a difficult turning point for the automaker. With the economy in recession and the first Gulf War waging in the Middle East, GM's profits were at a long-time low; it was burdened with overwhelming overhead costs and its vehicles were selling slowly. The traditionally linked role of chairman and CEO was split in two, with Smale named chairman and John F. Smith Jr. named chief executive.

Under their joint leadership, Smale and Smith (who eventually replaced him) shook things up in Detroit and turned around GM's financial fortunes from the brink of collapse. Having served as president, CEO and chairman of Procter & Gamble during the 1980s, Smale continued to serve on the GM board through 2002. He passed on Saturday at the age of 84. Our thoughts and condolences are with his bereaved friends and family.


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  • 33 Comments
      founerra
      • 3 Years Ago
      My death dream is being sucked into a Black Hole :D, or boredom.
      nine11areforever
      • 3 Years Ago
      who cares about this?
        Shane Gardner
        • 3 Years Ago
        @nine11areforever
        Show some respect.
        IBx27
        • 3 Years Ago
        @nine11areforever
        For that, nobody will show up at your funeral. Show some decency, prick.
        XJ Yamaha
        • 3 Years Ago
        @nine11areforever
        Making comments like this are purely for attention....
        Xedicon
        • 3 Years Ago
        @nine11areforever
        You can't be serious! People like this are unsung and often uncredited heros of the auto industry. He flat out saved GM, much like Alan Mulally at Ford and what I suspect Sergio Marchionne is in the process of doing at Chrysler. People like this save hundreds of thousands of jobs, who knows how much in money stays in the economy because of their efforts, and they often have to make very unpopular decisions that benefit not only the USA but if you think about it, the world. Any person who has the guts to make decisions that can make or break multi-billion dollar global companies during troubled times and still sleep at night deserves mad respect. Mr. Smale deserves our respect and our thanks, and I hope to all hell that a friend or family of his doesn't come across your thoughtless and crude comment.
        4RR4Y
        • 3 Years Ago
        @nine11areforever
        You cared enough to comment... Dumbass.
        nine11areforever
        • 3 Years Ago
        @nine11areforever
        seriously he was just another high paid under performing american automotive gm. so why care if one dies at 85?
          IBx27
          • 3 Years Ago
          @nine11areforever
          And seriously nobody will be at your funeral. He was one of the most significant figures in GM's 1980's transitional history that nobody knew about.
          LUSTSTANG S-197
          • 3 Years Ago
          @nine11areforever
          ...And what makes you so special? Why should we care if you die? He made a lot of money, and clearly you resent him for that, which is pathetic. In the end, none of that really matters, as I am sure he will be missed, particularly by family and friends, so show some respect, prick.
        LUSTSTANG S-197
        • 3 Years Ago
        @nine11areforever
        Who cares, you ask? Well, I don't know if you are aware of this but this is a site for auto enthusiasts, and this man was a big figure in the auto industry, so... Duh!! Do I really have to spell it out for you?
      onewayroll
      • 3 Years Ago
      Autoblog...do us all a favor and ban all these trolling disrespectful pricks ( nine11areforever, lesanepcr0oks, Expert)....all they do is bring your site down to youtube levels...
        lesanepcr0oks
        • 3 Years Ago
        @onewayroll
        it was a legitimate question. what is the obsession with commenting "RIP" or giving condolences or respect to a public figure? this man lived a long, fulfilling life, there is no tragedy here. why is death seen as such a bad thing? that association in itself is absurd. how about doing something to save lives instead of writing "RIP" for some rich former CEO? its funny how you criticize for being indecent, when all you cowards do is pay respect to a dead man on the internet. pay respect to the dead by doing something to save lives!!
          onewayroll
          • 3 Years Ago
          @lesanepcr0oks
          I'm a coward because I called u out? Grow up dude.
      Xedicon
      • 3 Years Ago
      Always sad to hear of the passing of someone who made big contributions to the auto industry. I can only hope that those were a good 84 years of a full life. Best wishes to his friends and family.
      don
      • 3 Years Ago
      Alec Baldwin!
      BIG KELL
      • 3 Years Ago
      "....and all your money won't another minute buy."
        IBx27
        • 3 Years Ago
        @BIG KELL
        I smell jealousy. Or is that tent city grime?
      mmeg
      • 3 Years Ago
      Please compare your respectful treatment of the passing of Mr. Smale with the disrespectful, inappropriate headline regarding the passing of Mr. Scaglietti.
      soundbargaming
      • 3 Years Ago
      That's crazy! What the heck happened? The article doesn't even touch on it.
        tinted up
        • 3 Years Ago
        @soundbargaming
        The man was 84 years old. Something doesn't have to happen to die at that age. Liberty Medical was late with his diabetes supplies, or he fell and couldn't get up, most likely though he passed in his sleep.
      Ghetto Cat
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is good news. He lived his life.
      bhuh
      • 3 Years Ago
      I wish you guys would have worded it as "passed away" instead of being so blatant with using "DEAD"
        LUSTSTANG S-197
        • 3 Years Ago
        @bhuh
        It's all the same in the end. Dead, died, passed away, deceased... You can call a turd a piece of chocolate cake if you want to, but that does not change the fact that it is still a turd.
      J D
      • 3 Years Ago
      Well, he's the guy who was responsible for putting dangerous parts in Saturns to cut costs, so I hope he rots. It took me years to get over my injuries due to a failing seat back when I got rear-ended.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @J D
        [blocked]
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
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