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Latest GM management shuffle puts Whitacre in charge of product planning

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Filed under: Hirings/Firings/Layoffs, GM


A year after entering bankruptcy protection, the executive shuffling is still ongoing down at General Motors. The latest moves come in the wake of the creation of GM's new venture capital unit which will be headed up by Jon Laukner, whose previous job was vice president in charge of product planning and program management.

Product planning responsibility will now fall to Steve Carlisle, formerly VP of U.S. sales. One of the main goals of the changes made by CEO Ed Whitacre since taking over has been flattening the organization and removing layers of management. To that end, Carlisle will now be a direct report to Whitacre, who will henceforth have the final say in future product planning at GM. Previously, Laukner reported to vice chairman Tom Stephens, who retains control over all product development activities.

Many executives we've spoken to at GM in recent months say that while more people are increasingly reporting to Whitacre, the ex AT&T man is not micromanaging. Instead, they argue, Whitacre is trying to put the right people into place and then relying on them to do the job. Still, the move to put someone with no previous auto industry experience in charge of product planning at GM has some pundits deeply concerned.

Is this a good move or a bad one? Check out the full slate of executive changes in the links below, then have your say in 'Comments'

[sources: AutoWeek, Inside Line | Image: Bill Pugliano/Getty]

Latest GM management shuffle puts Whitacre in charge of product planning originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 05 Jun 2010 21:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Interesting, but given the speed at which leadership appointments are changing, I bet it doesn't last long.

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GM has worse turnover than most small town fast food places.

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This may work out after Big Eddie steps down in only one way that I see fit: say Ed decides to retire and names Mark Reuss as his replacement, we could see some amazing stuff being built. The same goes for whatever dude GMNA pirated from GME that likes to say entertaining things like Uncle Bobby used to do.

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Could this move be a way for Ed to rely on his people to do thier jobs and for him to get programs approved faster.

Ed is a manager and wants the people under him to make the decisions that need to be done vs the old GM way of passing it off to a 10 other people or panels to be approved. He has been on them to make the call and get the job done.

We all know Ed wants these people to use their talent and smarts to do what is right and move on. With him enabled to tell them to go ahead and do it would pick up the pace of things.

We all know Ed is the first one to say he is not a car guy and he is smart enough not to make product decisions with out relying on people like Mark and others to tell him what they feel GM needs.

We here and Ed understand he has some very talented people there and we also know he wants them to to what they can do.

Just a though after seeing all of Eds comments that things were not getting done and seeing he was giving people more power to to things.

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