I wish to convey my sincere best wishes to Don Walker following the announcement that he will be stepping down as CEO after an impressive career at Magna that spanned four decades.
Don Walker was an exceptional CEO who helped build Magna into one of the world’s leading automotive companies. I first met Don in the late 1980s when he was a young, up-and-coming executive with General Motors of Canada. I was so impressed by him that I offered him a job at Magna. I firmly believed that he could go far and accomplish great things working within Magna’s can-do, entrepreneurial culture. As it turns out, that confidence in Don was well-founded.
After having proved himself in a number of increasingly senior roles, I promoted Don to the position of President in 1992, and then CEO two years later. During the 90s and early 2000s, he oversaw one of the most dynamic periods of growth in the Company’s history – a period when Magna became a truly global corporation and the industry leader in terms of automotive technologies.
When I decided to leave Magna more than a decade ago, I wanted to make sure that I left behind a strong management team and an excellent leader, someone who could provide integrity, stability and strategic vison. Don was that leader.
I wish Don the very best in the next chapter of his life. Knowing him the way I do, I am sure that he will be engaged in many different activities. I also know that Don has a strong social conscience, and I would not be surprised to see him lend some of his experience and expertise to various charities and causes that help individuals in need.
I also wish to congratulate Swamy Kotagiri on being named the new CEO. I have every confidence that Swamy will do an outstanding job in his new role supported by Vince Galifi and the senior management team at Magna.
Magna, the company I founded, will always hold a special place in my heart. It is gratifying to see that the Company’s future remains bright following Don Walker’s remarkable tenure as CEO.