Frederic G. Donner

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Frederic Garrett Donner (October 4, 1902 – February 28, 1987) was chairman and CEO of the General Motors Corporation from September 1, 1958, to October 31, 1967.[1]

He graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in economics, worked briefly for a Chicago accounting firm, and then joined General Motors's New York staff as an accountant in 1926, and worked there for 32 years.[2]

He became Assistant Treasurer in 1934 and in 1941, at 38, he became one of the youngest GM executives ever to reach a vice-presidency. In 1956 he was named executive vice president for finance. He served as an officer of General Motors from 1941 until 1958, when he became Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.[2]

Donner presided over a major reorganization of GM’s Board of Directors to include more representation from outside the corporation. During his tenure GM achieved record sales and profits.

He was at the helm when GM expanded its product line with 12 new passenger cars, including the Nova, Chevelle, Firebird, Century, Riviera, Camaro, Pontiac LeMans, Cutlass, and Eldorado.

Donner was the author of The worldwide industrial enterprise; its challenge and promise.[3]

Donner was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 1994.[4]


  1. ^ GM History page Archived 2009-03-01 at the Wayback Machine.. Accessed May 19, 2009.
  2. ^ a b Biography. Frederic G. Donner Papers 1921-1983 Finding Aid. Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan. Accessed May 19, 2009.
  3. ^ Donner, F. The world-wide industrial enterprise; its challenge and promise. New York: McGraw Hill, 1967.
  4. ^ Automotive Hall of Fame page. Accessed May 19, 2009.
Business positions
Preceded by
Albert Bradley
Chairman General Motors
1958 – 1967
Succeeded by
James Roche
Preceded by
Harlow Curtice
CEO General Motors
1958 – 1967
Succeeded by
James Roche