Former Chrysler exec dies at age 51 after battle with cancer image

Chrysler Group LLC announced today that former purchasing chief Dan Knott, who retired just two weeks ago for medical reasons, died earlier today. Knott was 51 and had been battling cancer.

According to the US based automaker, Knott passed away in his sleep peacefully and surrounded by his family at about 2:15 a.m.

“I am proud to have worked with Dan in the last three years, during which time he confirmed on every occasion an extreme sense of professionalism and unwavering dedication to the restoration of Chrysler’s credibility,” Marchionne said in a statement.

“The Chrysler Group family is profoundly saddened today. Dan Knott was an inspirational leader, who cared deeply about the company and, most of all, his people,” said CEO Sergio Marchionne in a statement.

Knott, who joined Chrysler in 1988 as a senior engineer, helped rebuild relationships and trust with suppliers that had been strained as Chrysler struggled from 2007 through 2009.

He also played a key role in the development of such iconic vehicles as the Dodge Viper, Jeep Grand Cherokee and the SRT lineup.

Knott became Chrysler’s senior vice president for purchasing and supplier quality in December 2009.