Driving into the future
As CEO and President, Rodney O’Neal led Tier One supplier Delphi through a tumultuous bankruptcy, transforming it into a premier global automotive supplier.
With a B.S. in Engineering from General Motors Institute (now Kettering University) and master’s degree from Stanford University, O’Neal was part of the Delphi leadership team that stayed with the company after GM spun it off 1999, creating an independent corporation. Sales at the new Delphi would grow to almost $27 billion in 2005, but red ink was totaling more than $2 billion, leading to bankruptcy.
O’Neal was tapped to lead the company through insolvency, instituting a corporate reorganization to restore investor confidence, and launching a new company that could thrive in the global marketplace.
The company was reshaped from an auto parts supplier and into a company the world’s automobile manufacturers turn to for new technologies. Through Delphi-developed computers and electronics, cars and trucks can be safer, greener and more connected.
With more than 150,000 employees, 126 major manufacturing sites and 15 technical centers in 32 countries, Delphi today is now firmly positioned as a premier global automotive supplier.
The company recently tested its new self-driving car, a 2014 Audi SQ5, modified with Delphi sensors, radars and robotic systems, becoming the first vehicle in history to drive itself across the continent. Directing itself on highways, country roads and city streets, the vehicle never exceeded the posted speed limit during its nine day journey. The human co-driver only took control of the car when traveling through a construction zone and past emergency vehicles on a roadside.
While no one can predict where the new company will be in the future, we know there would be no future at all for Delphi without Rodney O’Neal.