Gary Cowger is responsible for directing all of GM's manufacturing and labor relations activities worldwide. Prior to his current position, Cowger served as president of General Motors North America. Cowger began his GM career in 1965 at the company's Kansas City assembly plant as a co-op student for General Motors Institute. He worked his way up through the ranks to become superintendent of the plant, taking a brief break in 1978 to attend MIT as a GM Sloan Fellow. After going back to GM in 1979, Cowger continued to rise through various plant management positions, and was appointed manufacturing manager of GM's Cadillac division in 1987. He became president and managing director of GM de México in 1994 and was elected a GM vice president in October 1994.
Cowger was named manufacturing vice president for GM Europe in 1998 and placed in charge of the overall coordination of Opel/Vauxhall operations for 14 plants in 10 countries. He was then appointed chairman and managing director of Adam Opel in Germany. Later that same year, Cowger became group vice president of labor relations for GM North America and then group vice president of manufacturing and labor relations in 2001.
Cowger earned a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from General Motors Institute (now Kettering University) and a master of science degree in management from MIT. In 2006, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering. In 2004, he was named Automotive Industries' Executive of the Year; and the prior year, he received the Society of Automotive Engineers' Manufacturing Leadership Award.
A View From Industry
as author at MIT World Series: MIT Sloan 2008 Convocation,