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GM Announces Leadership Changes

Drew Dowdell

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GM Announces Leadership Changes


DETROIT – To improve accountability and responsibility for market performance in North America and around the world, several key leadership changes were announced today by GM Chairman and CEO, Ed Whitacre.

"I want to give people more responsibility and authority deeper in the organization and then hold them accountable," Whitacre said. "We've realigned our leadership duties and responsibilities to help us meet our mission to design, build and sell the world's best vehicles."

Mark Reuss is named president of GM North America. Reuss was briefly vice president of Engineering after leading GM's Holden operations in Australia in 2008. Reporting to Reuss will be Susan E. Docherty, who is appointed vice president, Vehicle Sales, Service and Marketing operations. Also aligned under the new North American group will be Diana D. Tremblay, who is named vice president, Manufacturing and Labor Relations. Tremblay was most recently vice president of Labor Relations. Denise C. Johnson is named vice president, Labor Relations. Johnson was most recently vehicle line director and chief engineer for Global Small Cars.

Nick Reilly is named president, GM Europe. Reilly has been leading the restructuring efforts in Europe with the Opel/Vauxhall operations and will leave his role leading GM International Operations.

Tim Lee is named president of GM International Operations, overseeing GM's Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Africa, and Middle East operations. Lee was most recently group vice president, Manufacturing and Labor Relations.

Bob Lutz remains vice chairman and will act as advisor on design and global product development.

Thomas G. Stephens remains vice chairman of Global Product Operations, and will now take on global purchasing in his organization, which will continue to be lead by Robert E. Socia, vice president, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain. Karl-Friedrich Stracke is appointed vice president, Engineering, reporting to Stephens. Stracke was most recently executive director of Engineering.

J. Christopher Preuss, vice president, Communications, will now report to Whitacre; he previously reported to Lutz.

The balance of the direct report staff remains unchanged and includes CFO Ray G. Young; John F. Smith, vice president Corporate Planning and Alliances; Terry Kline, vice president IS&S; Mary T. Barra, vice president Human Resources; Mike Millikin, vice president of Legal; and Ken C. Cole, vice president Government Relations and Public Policy.

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Whitacre is getting ready to run GM. No one even saw how obvious it was. This was coming. How to you turn around a company?

1. Drop the dead weight and poor management.( Wagoner and Henderson and many of the old GM guard one by one "resigned" or "retired")( translation: they were fired!)

2. Make an example out of someone to make a point about change( Wagoner and Henderson)

3. Bring in a change man and bulldog( Whitacre)

4. Use the people who know the company to build the new company and shore you up where you are deficient. Use people who know the product( Bob Lutz)

5. Show the public you are rebuilding your empire( Keep Opel and Vauxhall)

I have no problem with Whitacre did. He put people where they they have strength and know their areas. Think about it.

He has Bob Lutz as vice chair and senior adviser and keeping him over product and design. He put Reilly in Europe because he understands the European culture and he has experience with Opel and Vauxhall. I like what he did with Reuss. Having come off that stint at Holden and he recent said quality must change, he is using his assets to make a change.

I am sure PCS has no issues with these changes. The right people are where they need to be to do the "Holden thing".

My dear friends as Suze Orman would say Ed Whitacre is your new GM CEO.

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