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    BREAKING: Changing Of The Guard At GM: Akerson To Step Down, Mary Barra To Become The New CEO



    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    December 10, 2013

    January 15, 2014 will be an important day at General Motors. Current CEO Dan Akerson will retire and Mary Barra, the executive vice president for global product development, purchasing, and supply chain will become the company's CEO. This announcement just comes a day after the U.S. Treasury said it had sold all of its shares in GM.

    Akerson planned to stepped down from the automaker sometime in 2014, but pulled ahead his succession plan after finding out his wife was diagnosed with an advanced stage of cancer.

    “I will leave with great satisfaction in what we have accomplished, great optimism over what is ahead and great pride that we are restoring General Motors as America’s standard bearer in the global auto industry,” Akerson said in a statement.

    Barra was one of the people in the running to become the next CEO at GM, Other people in consideration were Vice Chairman Steve Girsky, Chief Financial Officer Dan Ammann, and North American President Mark Reuss. Many people who keep a close eye on the automotive industry throught Reuss would be the one.

    Barra has been with GM since 1980 and has held a number of positions during that time including executive director of competitive operations engineering, plant manager at GM's Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly, and vice president of global manufacturing engineering.

    “With an amazing portfolio of cars and trucks and the strongest financial performance in our recent history, this is an exciting time at today’s GM. I’m honored to lead the best team in the business and to keep our momentum at full speed,” said Barra.

    Along with the appointment of Barra to CEO, General Motors has also made a few other changes to the executive lineup.

    • Dan Ammann, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer has been named company president. His responsibilities include managing the company’s regional operations around the world.
    • Mark Reuss, Executive Vice President and North American President will take Mary Barra's former position of Executive Vice President, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain.
    • Alan Batey, Senior Vice President of Global Chevrolet and U.S. Sales and Marketing will become the new North American President.
    • Steve Girsky, Vice Chairman for Corporate Strategy, Business Development and Global Product Planning will move into a senior advisor role before stepping down from GM next April. He will remain apart of GM's Board of Directors.

    Source: General Motors, The Detroit News

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    Press Release is on Page 2


    Dan Akerson to Retire as GM CEO in January 2014

    • Mary Barra to Become Next CEO; Dan Ammann Named President

    DETROIT – General Motors today announced that Dan Akerson, who guided today’s GM to record profits and dramatic improvement in vehicle quality while closing the chapter on government ownership in the company, will step down as chairman and CEO on Jan. 15, 2014.

    Mary Barra, 51, executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain, was elected by the Board of Directors to become the next CEO of the company. Barra will also join the GM Board.

    Akerson, 65, pulled ahead his succession plan by several months after his wife was recently diagnosed with an advanced stage of cancer.

    The Board also named Theodore (Tim) Solso to succeed Akerson as Chairman. Solso, 66, is the former chairman and CEO of Cummins, Inc., and has been a member of the GM Board since June 2012.

    “I will leave with great satisfaction in what we have accomplished, great optimism over what is ahead and great pride that we are restoring General Motors as America’s standard bearer in the global auto industry,” Akerson said in a message to employees.

    With 33 years of experience at GM, Barra has risen through a series of manufacturing, engineering, and senior staff positions. She is a leader in the company’s ongoing turnaround, revitalizing GM’s product development process resulting in the launch of critically acclaimed new products while delivering record product quality ratings and higher customer satisfaction.

    “With an amazing portfolio of cars and trucks and the strongest financial performance in our recent history, this is an exciting time at today’s GM,” said Barra. “I’m honored to lead the best team in the business and to keep our momentum at full speed.”

    Dan Ammann, 41, executive vice president and chief financial officer, was named company president and will assume responsibility for managing the company’s regional operations around the world. The global Chevrolet and Cadillac brand organizations and GM Financial will also report to Ammann.

    Ammann joined GM in 2010 where his first assignment was to manage GM’s initial public offering. As CFO, he has led a transformation of GM’s finance operations into a world-class organization. He also led the strategy to rebuild the company’s captive finance capability through the successful establishment and growth of GM Financial.

    “We have a significant opportunity to further integrate and optimize our operations to deliver even better results,” said Ammann. “While we have made good progress, we still have much work ahead of us to realize GM’s full potential.”

    Ammann will retain CFO responsibilities at least through the release of the company’s fourth quarter and full-year 2013 results in early February 2014. His replacement as CFO will be named later.

    Mark Reuss, 50, executive vice president and president, North America, will replace Barra as executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain. Under Reuss’ watch, GM’s North America region has produced consistent profits and improved margins during a product renaissance that includes the launch of award-winning cars and trucks such as the Cadillac ATS, Chevrolet Corvette, Impala and Silverado pickup.

    “The driver’s seat of designing and engineering the strongest product line up in GM’s history is the best seat to have,” said Reuss. “We’re going to keep the pedal down on GM’s product resurgence and keep winning new customers.”

    Alan Batey, currently senior vice president, Global Chevrolet and U.S. Sales and Marketing, will replace Reuss and is named Executive Vice President and President, North America. Batey, 50, joined GM’s Vauxhall operation in 1979 and held several sales, service and marketing positions around the world. In his current position, he has developed the Chevrolet brand’s Find New Roads advertising campaign and has overseen a sweeping upgrade of retail sales and service operations at hundreds of U.S. dealerships.

    “North America is the foundation of the GM turnaround story and I’m honored to help continue what Mark started,” said Batey. “We remain committed to delivering the world’s best retail experience to match the world’s best cars and trucks.”

    The company also announced that Steve Girsky, 51, vice chairman, Corporate Strategy, Business Development and Global Product Planning, will move to a senior advisor role until leaving the company in April 2014. He will remain on the GM Board of Directors.

    Girsky led GM’s turnaround plan for Europe that has put that region’s operations back on a path to profitability. He has also put GM’s OnStar unit at the forefront of in-vehicle connectivity and helped create GM Ventures to speed the commercialization of new technologies in GM vehicles.

    “I share Dan’s pride for what the company has accomplished and his sense of optimism for a bright future,” said Girsky. “This team is united in its commitment to building on the foundation that we have established.”

    Under Akerson’s leadership, GM made swift progress as the company transformed from being majority owned by U.S. Treasury to being publicly traded and investment grade rated.

    “My goals as CEO were to put the customer at the center of every decision we make, to position GM for long term success and to make GM a company that America can be proud of again,” Akerson said. “We are well down that path, and I’m certain that our new team will keep us moving in that direction.”

    Akerson was named GM Chairman and CEO on September 1, 2010. He joined GM in 2009 as a member of its Board of Directors. Since the company’s November 2010 Initial Public Offering, GM has recorded 15 consecutive quarters of profitability, has earned this year the best overall initial vehicle quality scores of any auto manufacturer, and has re-invested nearly $9 billion and created or retained more than 25,000 jobs at its U.S plants.

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    I hope she got the job because she's the best person to take GM to new heights and not because she's a woman and it's time to have a woman CEO because there hasn't been one... like "it's time for a black president simply because there hasn't been one".

    Having said that, being a woman doesn't necessary mean she's isn't the right choice. It simply shouldn't be that being a woman make her the right choice. Too many companies have succumbed to and suffered from political and social pressures to hire for diversity or affirmative action rather than simply hiring the best candidate.

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    I am sure they picked the best person for the job. Hopefully she is there for a while, as she is the 5th CEO since 2008, they could use some stability.

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    I hope she got the job because she's the best person to take GM to new heights and not because she's a woman and it's time to have a woman CEO because there hasn't been one... like "it's time for a black president simply because there hasn't been one".

    Having said that, being a woman doesn't necessary mean she's isn't the right choice. It simply shouldn't be that being a woman make her the right choice. Too many companies have succumbed to and suffered from political and social pressures to hire for diversity or affirmative action rather than simply hiring the best candidate.

    yeah, that

    let's hope she is above all the media adulation they gave Marissa Meyer/Mayer from Yahoo. I'm hoping her maturity and longevity with the company stands out more than the fact she is a woman. I have no reason to doubt the credentials, but I am suspicious that GM would do this if they hadn't borrowed a bunch of govt coin. Not that it would make the decision, but a 50/50 choice can tip to 51/49 for a lot of reasons. I think GM may have marketing in the back of their mind here too. That said, she is prob among the most knowledgible marketers in the biz too.

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    The sex of the individual aside... sometimes putting a marketing centric guy (or gal) at the reins is sometimes not the best thing to do. Just look at Apple choosing John Sculley over Steve Jobs. A car manufacturer should, first and foremost be about the product -- the cars. Everything else compliments that, nothing replaces that. GM is on a roll in this regard. Let's hope it continues unabated.

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    She started at GM at 18, building engines on the Iron Duke line..... she knows how to get her hands dirty... She's much more a "Car Gal" than Akerson ever was a "Car Guy" (though that isn't hard, since he was zero Car Guy)

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    While reading her credentials: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Barra

    She has been around the whole company so she should have a solid grasp of what it takes to build a quality product. I just hope her days at reducing the number of platforms and bean counting for purchasing of parts does not lead her to go in the direction of reducing costs just to increase profits. That never worked for GM. I hope she brings a passion for quality auto's that strike EXCITEMENT into buyers and fear into the competition.

    Hope she pushes through the VOLT power train on CUV's and Full size SUV's.

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    While reading her credentials: http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Mary_Barra

    She has been around the whole company so she should have a solid grasp of what it takes to build a quality product. I just hope her days at reducing the number of platforms and bean counting for purchasing of parts does not lead her to go in the direction of reducing costs just to increase profits. That never worked for GM. I hope she brings a passion for quality auto's that strike EXCITEMENT into buyers and fear into the competition.

    Hope she pushes through the VOLT power train on CUV's and Full size SUV's.

    Reducing the number of platforms and engines are good things. In fact, I believe they are things GM has not done enough of... there are still too many engines, too many platforms and actually one too many brands. There is a big difference between reducing the number of things you build and building those things with inferior components, technology, features or quality.

    If it's me...

    (1) Chevy will end all truck and SUV production; all mainstream SUVs and trucks will be GMCs.

    (2) The number of engines will be significantly reduced from 36 (currently in production) to just 15:-

    Gasoline Engines For Cars

    • 1.5 DOHC Inline-3 w/ DI-VVT ( 123 bhp / 117 lb-ft)
    • 1.5T DOHC Inline-3 w/ DI-DVVT (200 bhp / 195 lb-ft)
    • 2.0 DOHC Inline-4 w/ DI-DVVT(170 bhp / 156 lb-ft)
    • 2.0T DOHC Inline-4 w/ DI-DVVT (270 bhp / 260 lb-ft)
    • 3.6 DOHC V-6 w/ DI-DVVT (321 bhp / 275 lb-ft)
    • 3.6TT DOHC V-6 w/DI-DVVT (420 bhp / 430 lb-ft)
    • 6.2 V-8 Pushrod V-8 w/DI-VVT-AFM (460 bhp / 465 lb-ft)
    • 6.2SC V-8 Pushrod V-8 w/DI-VVT (625 bhp / 625 lb-ft)

    Gasoline Engines Trucks, Fleets and Commercial Vehciles

    • 3.1 Pushrod V-4 w/ DI-VVT (210 bhp / 230 lb-ft)
    • 4.6 Pushrod V-6 w/ DI-VVT-AFM (315 bhp / 345 lb-ft)
    • 6.2 Pushrod V-8 w/ DI-VVT-AFM (420 bhp / 460 lb-ft)

    Turbo Diesels

    • 1.5CDTI DOHC Inline-3 w/ DI-DVVT (125 bhp / 220 lb-ft)
    • 2.0CDTI DOHC Inline-4 w/ DI-DVVT (170 bhp / 295 lb-ft)
    • 3.0CDTI DOHC V-6 w/DI-DVVT (250 bhp / 440 lb-ft)
    • 6.6T Pushrod V-8 w/DI-VVT (400 bhp / 770 lb-ft)

    *Note: Basically there are the all the 1.5 and 2.0 petrol engines use the same pistons, rods, valves, phasers, etc. All the Diesels minus the Duramax 6.6 does the same. All the Pushrod gasoline engines agains share their internals regardless of displacement. There is also no duplicity in output; no two engines serve the same output category within their class.

    (3) Platforms are reduced by getting rid of all the obsolete stuff and sticking to the basics and doing them with superlatives. It works out to just nine:-

    FWD

    • Gamma II -- Sub-Compact FWD
    • Delta II -- Compact FWD
    • Epsilon II -- Mid-size/Full Size FWD

    RWD

    • Alpha -- Compact/Mid-size RWD
    • Omega -- Full-size RWD
    • Y II -- Sportscar RWD

    Trucks

    • GMT 510 (Theta+) -- Compact Crossover/SUVs/trucks
    • GMT 960 (Lamda+) -- Mid-size Crossovers/SUVs/trucks
    • GMT K200 -- Full-size SUVs/Trucks
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    The next GM engine to die will probably be the 3.6 V6. By 2020 I would think everything will be turbo except for your base 3 or 4 cylinder in entry level cars. Probably no one thought full size cars or Cadillacs would lose V8s, but they did. I bet the next-gen Lambdas have a turbo four under the hood, maybe a V6 option for the 2010s, but around 2020, the V6 might be as rare as a V8 is now.

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