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Reuss to oversee GM's North American sales

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Reuss to oversee GM's North American sales

GM to split that from marketing, paper told

BY TIM HIGGINS

FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER

Three months into his new job as president of General Motors' North American operations, Mark Reuss appears set to take a more direct role in overseeing the division's sales functions.

Reuss was promoted to the North America president's chair about 90 days ago after former GM CEO Fritz Henderson resigned under pressure and Chairman Ed Whitacre assumed the top executive role.

Whitacre quickly put in place his new senior leadership team, saying they would have to produce results quickly.

Whitacre has said he hopes GM will be profitable this year.

A large part of that responsibility falls on Reuss, who came to the job after a short time as vice president of engineering, following time managing GM's Australian operations.

Part of the expected management changes include Susan Docherty, currently vice president of both the sales and marketing functions, losing her sales duties while Reuss assumes them, the Free Press has learned.

Automotive News reported Sunday the automaker is looking to separate the U.S. sales and marketing operations.

An organizational structure that separates sales and marketing functions sounds similar to one put in place last summer by Henderson but undone by Whitacre when he became CEO.

Jason Laird, a GM spokesman, declined comment.

On Monday, GM announced that its monthly call to talk about sales results with media and industry analysts would be held several hours earlier than usual.

More management changes at Whitacre's GM wouldn't surprise industry observers, who expect continuous change as the new CEO develops a better understanding of the auto business and pushes his people to deliver results.

"The patience that other companies might have, or GM had in the past, is probably going to bear no relationship to what's happening now," said Van Conway, a corporate restructuring expert at Conway MacKenzie.

link:

http://www.freep.com/article/20100302/BUSINESS01/3020325/1210/Reuss-to-oversee-GMs-North-American-sales

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