Chrysler's senior vice president, Purchasing and Supplier Quality, Dan Knott has passed away following a battle with cancer. Knott's medical retirement was announced on April 13th after 24 years with the company and he passed away in his sleep peacefully, surrounded by his family last Sunday.
"His loss will be felt deeply here," said a spokesperson for company.  
Knott, who was born in Detroit and joined Chrysler in 1988, took the role of senior vice president, Purchasing and Supplier Quality in December 2009 and was responsible for all worldwide purchasing and supplier quality activities, including both product-related components and indirect suppliers and services.
"The Chrysler Group family is profoundly saddened today," said Sergio Marchionne, chairman and CEO of Chrysler Group, in a statement.
"Dan Knott was an inspirational leader, who cared deeply about the company and, most of all, his people. His passion for products shone through, and I will always remember how his child-like smile lit up the room when we talked about vehicles like the Viper or our Jeep brand. He made a huge contribution to Chrysler by improving our relations with suppliers with an approach based on honesty, transparency and accountability. Dan will be missed on a professional basis, and even more on a personal level. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family."
Previous to his role in Purchasing and Supplier Quality, he served as head of Vehicle Engineering and Vehicle Line Executive - A/B Segment where he had full responsibility for all current vehicles and the execution of future car, minivan, Jeep, truck and SRT vehicle programmes. He also oversaw vehicle development analysis and validation.
He played an integral role in the product development of vehicles, including the Viper and Jeep Grand Cherokee, as well as the SRT line up. Prior to that role, Knott held the positions of vice president - Car/Minivan/SRT Product Team and vice president - Jeep Product Team where he oversaw all planning, engineering, development and launch management activities.
In 2010, he was inducted into the Viper Club in the America Hall of Fame for the work he did on the Viper programme. He was also named No. 23 on Motor Trend's 2006 Power List, which recognised the 50 most influential men and women in the automotive industry. In addition Knott is credited with reviving Chrysler's partnership approach with its suppliers when it emerged from bankruptcy protection in 2009. Part of that initiative means that Chrysler now scores its relationship with tier one suppliers as part of a plan to generate business opportunities for those owned by women and minority groups.
Amongst his other accomplishments Knott was chair of the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council and served as the executive sponsor of the Chrysler Native American Employee Resource Group and co-chair of the Chrysler Diversity Council. He was also a member of the Advisory Board of Focus, HOPE, an organisation dedicated to intelligent and practical solutions to the problems of hunger, economic disparity, inadequate education and racial divisiveness.
He was also a member of the board of trustees of New Horizons Rehabilitation Services, a not-for-profit rehabilitation agency providing quality vocational training and job placement services for people with disabilities.
Knott is survived by his wife, Cindy and his two children, Casey and Laura

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