Transformed the Weston-Mott Company from a manufacturer of wire wheels to the world’s largest axle company, later negotiating the company’s merger with General Motors Elected to GM’s Board of Directors in 1913 and served as a Director for 60 years.
Organized the Mott Foundation to fund educational and health care projects Despite his enormous business success, people remained Charles Mott’s passion. After earning a degree in mechanical engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology, Mott joined his father’s business, producing wire wheels for bicycles and early automobiles. The company experienced success as a supplier to Olds Motor Works, but as changing technologies threatened business, the company shifted its focus to axles.
As a supplier to Buick and Cadillac, Charles Mott drew the attention of GM founder William Durant. After GM’s acquisition of Weston-Mott in 1908, Charles Mott became a GM Director. As GM’s Chief of Staff in the 1920s, he successfully streamlined a hodgepodge of divisions and subsidiaries into an efficient corporation.
With the funds he received from the sale of his business, Mott was able to pursue his real love: community service. Devoting himself to helping others, he served three terms as Mayor of Flint, Michigan, and in 1926 established the Mott Foundation to serve the educational and health care needs of underprivileged children and their families. Mott’s generosity was matched only by his modesty as he remarked, “I could not very well retain my self-respect unless I were prepared to undertake public responsibility.”