Gordon A. Ulsh, 66, a resident of Johns Creek, Georgia, died suddenly on February 1, 2013.
From his first job sorting soda bottles and vegetables in a neighbourhood grocery store in Indiana, Ulsh forged a successful and storied career, serving more than 40 years in automotive and industrial markets. From April 2005 until his retirement in July 2010, he served as president, chief executive officer and a director of Exide Technologies. Headquartered in Milton, Georgia, Exide is a global leader in stored electrical-energy solutions for industrial and transportation applications. His tenure at the company was characterized by growth and stability – chiefly as a result of his steady leadership during a tumultuous economic period. Ulsh was known for his approachability, charisma and larger-than-life personality.
From 2001 until March 2005, Ulsh was chairman, president and chief executive officer of FleetPride, Inc., the nation’s largest independent aftermarket distributor of heavy-duty truck parts. Prior to joining FleetPride, he worked with Ripplewood Equity Partners, providing analysis of automotive industry segments for investment opportunities. He served as president and chief operating officer of Federal-Mogul Corporation in 1999 and also as head of the company’s worldwide aftermarket division in 1998. Prior to Federal-Mogul, he held a number of leadership positions with Cooper Industries, Inc., including executive vice president of the automotive products segment. Ulsh joined Cooper’s Wagner Brake and Lighting division in 1983 following 16 years in manufacturing and engineering management at Ford Motor Company. He graduated from Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana with a degree in liberal arts.
At the time of his death Ulsh was lead director of the Philadelphia-based Cardone Industries Board, and a director of OM Group, Inc., in Cleveland, Ohio. He also served as a U.S. Advisory Board member of Alexander Proudfoot.
Ulsh was a dedicated husband and father who enjoyed spending time with his family, whether on family vacations, hunting trips, auto races or boating excursions. He also was a licensed pilot. He was active in both the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association and Battery Council International and was a member of the Country Club of the South.
Gordon Alan Ulsh was born on March 5, 1946 in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is survived by his wife of 29 years, Laurie J. Ulsh; children, Abbey Ulsh of Dallas, Texas, and Gordon Ulsh II of San Antonio, Texas; sisters Pam Sievers of Columbus, Ohio, and Lynne Taylor of Lake Placid, Florida. Ulsh also is survived by nieces and nephews Beth Fry, Jason Friedrich, Jeff Friedrich, Scott Masterson, Melissa Matos, Shawn McCrobie, Aaron Sievers, and Jason Sievers.
A memorial service for Gordon Ulsh is planned for Wednesday, February 6, 2013, at 3 p.m. at Northminster Presbyterian Church, 2400 Old Alabama Road, Roswell, Georgia 30076. In lieu of flowers, the family asks relatives and friends to make donations to the charities of their choice. Messages of condolence may be left at www.roswellfuneralhome.com.