Jerome "Jerry" York, a veteran executive whose career spanned the rising and falling fortunes of the U.S. auto and technology industries, died Thursday in Pontiac, Michigan. He was 71 years old, and had been hospitalized earlier this week.
Starting in the 1960s, the Memphis, Tenn., native worked with all of Detroit's Big Three automakers. While CFO at Chrysler, he guided the company through its 1979 financial crisis and subsequent government bailout in 1980. He was also CFO at IBM (IBM) in the 1990s, playing a major role in turning around Big Blue's finances
As chairman, president and CEO of Harwinton Capital, York took an interest in Apple (AAPL), and joined the company's board of directors in 1997.
In a statement, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said York's involvement came "when most doubted the company's future. He has been a pillar of financial and business expertise and insight on our Board for over a dozen years. It's been a privilege to know and work with Jerry, and I'm going to miss him a lot."
York was also on GM's board of directors and was an adviser to investor Kirk Kerkorian during one of the billionaire's attempts to take over Chrysler.
Born in 1938, York graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, received a Master of Science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and an MBA from the University of Michigan.
Apple Board Member, Former Auto Exec and Ex-IBM CFO Jerry York Dies at 71