Bill Gibson, director of national sales for ELMS, passed away on August 26, 2021, in Orlando, Fla., following a brief illness. He was 68.
Gibson is best remembered for his fleet career at General Motors, where he retired on April 30, 2011, as director, sales for General Motors Fleet & Commercial Operations. He worked at GM for 38 years, which included 21 years in GM Fleet & Commercial Operations. Gibson joined GM in 1973 in manufacturing operations. He held a variety of positions within the automaker prior to joining the GM Fleet & Commercial Operations in 1991. Gibson was promoted to director - U.S. rental sales in 1994, responsible for all rental fleet sales. In August 2001, Gibson was promoted to director – fleet and commercial sales. In 2004, global sales responsibilities for GM Fleet & Commercial Operations were added to Gibson’s national sales duties.
Prior to joining GM, Gibson attended the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis from 1970-1972, where he studied electrical engineering. He received his Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree in finance and accounting and completed graduate work in economics from the University of Texas at Arlington.
At the time of his death, Gibson worked for ELMS, also known as Electric Last Mile Solutions, headquartered in Troy, Mich. ELMS is focused on the last-mile delivery market and is preparing to launch in the U.S. market its first vehicle, the Urban Delivery, a Class 1 electric vehicle. Gibson helped to launch the company and was credited by ELMS in helping it to “establish critical dealer relations, contract initial orders, and introduce the ELMS portfolio to many potential customers.”
Prior to joining ELMS, Gibson worked as vice president of sales for Bestop, Inc., a 60-year-old company selling Jeep and truck accessories. He held this position from December 2017 to December 2020. With his diverse sales experience, Gibson was actively recruited by other companies. His other earlier positions included vice president sales & service for Mobility Ventures LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of AM General. Previously, Gibson served as vice president of fleet sales for VNG.co, which operated a national CNG fueling network for the light-duty NGV market.
Upon retiring from GM, Gibson relocated to Orlando, Fla., where he joined SCT Performance as vice president of sales and marketing that same year.
Gibson’s hobbies and passions outside of work were golf and studying his family’s genealogy. He also enjoyed anything dealing with science fiction, with his favorite book being the Dune Trilogies by Frank Herbert. He said he had never watched a science fiction movie he didn’t like.
In an earlier interview with Automotive Fleet magazine, Gibson took immense pride in his achievements at GM. “Sometimes it's difficult to view in the larger context (simply because the day-to-day work is all consuming), but to step back and realize that I was able to make a contribution (however small) to GM's Fleet & Commercial Operations efforts is very gratifying,” he said.
He cited his most interesting work experience was having the opportunity to be a host at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, which he said was “an awesome experience.”
Gibson was a strong family man who was married 48 years to his wife Joyce and the proud father of three children – Annie, Billy, and Jess.
In another interview with Automotive Fleet, Gibson was asked: ‘What advice do you wish someone would have given you before entering fleet?’ He replied: “Focus on customer service first and foremost. Listen to the customer, learn to build long-term relationships, and know your product.”