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Life after GM: Ex-CEOs are spared life in the gutter

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Life after GM: Ex-CEOs are spared life in the gutter

Automotive News -- March 22, 2010 - 12:01 am ET

General Motors founder Billy Durant spooked future generations of GM chiefs when, late in life, he was discovered broke and running a bowling alley in Flint, Mich.

So far none of Durant's successors has fallen that far, or even close. Still, it's kind of strange whenever a former head of GM turns up someplace less exalted.

Last week two former CEOs got part-time jobs. And while they aren't exactly in the fast lane anymore, they aren't in a bowling lane, either.

Fritz Henderson, GM's CEO last year from March 31 through Dec. 1, signed on as a consultant for AlixPartners, the suburban Detroit turnaround specialist hired to dispose of the unwanted assets GM left in bankruptcy.

It is the second post-CEO gig for Henderson, 51. Last month GM brought him in as a $60,000-a-month part-time consultant on international operations.

Bob Stempel, CEO from 1990 to '92, made news last week, too. Genesis Fluid Solutions Holdings, which develops waterway restoration and remediation technology, announced that Stempel, 76, will join its board of directors.

It was Rick Wagoner who joked in 2002 at the Automotive News World Congress that Durant's bowling alley stint was "a prospect that has haunted GM CEOs ever since."

So what's Wagoner up to? No word on a job, but the former Duke University freshman basketball player was spotted at a recent Blue Devils game vs. North Carolina and will no doubt be courtside this month for a Duke game or two during the NCAA tournament.

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