Michael Jordan, Ryne Sandberg & Now Bob Lutz*

When Michael Jordan originally stepped away from basketball to pursue his dream of playing pro baseball, Chicago Bulls fans cried out in a collective agony that was heard and felt around the globe.  When he returned to the Bulls a year and a half later, he picked up where he left off and helped to provide Chicago with three more NBA titles.

In the same accord, when Ryne Sandberg announced his initial retirement from the Chicago Cubs in ’94, Cubs fans collectively grieved like they had lost one of their own sons.   A few years later when Ryne had his life back together and returned to the team, the Cubs turned the ship around and won three straight World Series titles. (We can all dream, can’t we?)

Today General Motors announced that Bob Lutz will return to work with the company and that his new role “will extend beyond new cars and trucks”.  GM fans should definitely feel overcome with a sense of jubilation knowing that Mr. Lutz is back on the job again.

He had stepped away from the company for the past 16 months to devote more time to his family and personal life and I imagine that both he and GM came to the mutual consensus that his ultimate place is behind the wheel steering the ship of Product Development at GM.

Lutz has had a long and successful run in the automotive industry and he is one of the most respected men in his field. (A modern day Harley Earl for X & Y Gen people).  Over the last few years, he’s had a hand in the design of overwhelmingly popular new GM models like the Chevy Equinox, Chevy Cruze, Buick Enclave, and the Chevy Volt (all of which are far cries from the 1996 Buick Skylark and Olds Achieva).   And the Lutz navigational compass of design has helped to guide GM back into profitability and industry leadership status once again.

I imagine, Bob Lutz’s situation was akin to that of both Jordan and Sandberg.  Each man had other things that they wanted to do with their lives for a spell even though they were still in their primes and producing stellar results for their respective organizations.  However after awhile, each was ultimately drawn back to their “sport of choice” and they were all welcomed back with open arms.

We at Runde Chevrolet would like to say, “Welcome back Bob!!!  We missed you.  And please know that we expect great thing from you in the future.”

(*Please note that there was no mention of Brett Favre in this article even though he also retired from and then returned to professional football many, many, many, many times. )

An interview by Popular Mechanics with Bob Lutz at his home in Ann Arbor, Michigan after his initial retirement.

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