Hans Demant has resigned from General Motors Co. as its head of global intellectual property rights to pursue other professional opportunities. Demant, who is pushing 60 years old, had been with GM's German division for almost 40 years.
A former Opel boss, Demant became known as "Mr Opel." In 2001, he was named GM Europe's head of engineering and from 2004, he had led Opel until he was replaced last year by Opel/Vauxhall CEO Nick Reilly.
Demant wasn't exactly the life of the party; in fact, he avoided making public appearances as much as he can. When Opel struggled to survive as parent GM entered bankruptcy, Demant received a lot of criticism for remaining in the background.
He has a reputation for being an exceptional engineer but many were disappointed at him for not being strong enough to cut costs at his division.
In 1972, Demant (a German native) had joined Adam Opel AG where he worked in product development. He later transferred to GM's advanced engineering center in Warren, Michigan.
In 1985, he went back to GM's international technical development center at Opel's headquarters in Ruesselsheim, Germany, where he led the development of Opel's Corsa and Agila small-segment models. Last January, Demant was named GM's head of intellectual property rights in a newly created position.
He reported directly to Tom Stephens, GM's Detroit-based vice chairman in charge of global product operations. [via autonews - sub. required]