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March 18, 2010

US: Jerry York dies at 71

Jerry York, the former Chrysler CFO, GM director and adviser to billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian, has died today (March 18) at age 71.

Jerry York, the former Chrysler CFO, GM director and adviser to billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian, has died today (March 18) at age 71. He reportedly suffered a brain aneurysm.

He worked closely with Kerkorian during the latter’s controversial bids to gain control of Chrysler and effect greater change – usually in conflict with the incumbent managers – at GM.

York was a director on GM’s board for a turbulent eight months in 2006, as Kerkorian’s representative. He resigned after Kerkorian’s attempt to add GM to the Renault Nissan Alliance, resisted by then CEO Rick Wagoner, failed. 

Chrysler Group LLC said in a statement that it ‘wishes to express our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Jerry York. Jerry was a significant figure on the American business landscape for many years and will be remembered for his major contributions to so many leading American companies’.

York also joined the Dana Board of Directors in 2008. In serving as Lead Director, Chairman of the Audit Committee, and a member of the Compensation Committee, he played an instrumental role in shaping a new Dana and driving the company’s improved financial performance, said Dana Executive Chairman John M. Devine.

“Jerry was an enormous contributor to our Board, based on his vast experience,” Mr. Devine said. “There wasn’t anything that he hadn’t seen before several times. Our deepest condolences go out to Jerry’s wife, Eilene, and their children. His friendship and counsel will be sorely missed.”

Apple, upon whose board York also served since 1997, announced his death today.

“Jerry joined Apple’s Board in 1997 when most doubted the company’s future. He has been a pillar of financial and business expertise and insight on our Board for over a dozen years,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “It’s been a privilege to know and work with Jerry, and I’m going to miss him a lot.”

Jerry York was born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1938. He graduated from the United States Military Academy, and received an MS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA from the University of Michigan. Trained as an engineer, York worked his way up through Chrysler to become CFO.

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