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GM's Kent Kresa likely to retire

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GM's Kent Kresa likely to retire

BY TIM HIGGINS

FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER

Roughly a year after emerging from bankruptcy reorganization as a new company, the man who helped guide the Detroit automaker during the dark period as interim chairman appears close to retirement.

Kent Kresa, who was elevated as interim GM chairman by the Obama administration just prior to bankruptcy, turned 72 in March and is likely to retire, a person familiar with the situation said.

“His status with the board is under review,” Renee Rashid-Merem, a GM spokeswoman, said in an e-mail. “Today he remains an active member of our board.”

GM’s corporate governance guidelines say that it is “the general policy” of the board that non-employee directors not seek re-election after turning 72.

Bloomberg News, which first reported the development, said Kresa could retire as soon as July.

Kresa is the former chairman and CEO of Northrop Grumman Corp. and joined the old GM’s board of directors in 2003. When the Obama administration pushed out then-Chairman and CEO Rick Wagner in March last year, Kresa became interim non-executive chairman.

He stayed on the GM board when it emerged from bankruptcy and Ed Whitacre became chairman and eventually CEO.

In other developments, Kathryn Marinello left her job at Ceridian Corp. in January, where she was chairman and CEO.

“Her employment status changed and the board reviewed it but given the value she brings and her experience, the board wanted to keep her on,” Rashid-Merem said.

In April, GM added a 13th board member, Cynthia Telles, associate clinical professor at UCLA School of Medicine.

link:

http://www.freep.com/article/20100618/BUSINESS01/100618059/1210/GMs-Kent-Kresa-likely-to-retire

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GM director Kent Kresa likely to leave

David Shepardson / Detroit News Washington Bureau

Washington -- Kent Kresa, who led General Motors as chairman during its most difficult days, isn't likely to seek re-election as a company director.

When the Obama administration forced out GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner in March 2009, it named Kresa, chairman emeritus of Northrop Grumman Corp., as interim board chairman.

Kresa, who became a GM director in 2003, turned 72 in March -- the age at which GM directors customarily don't seek re-election.

A person familiar with the matter said Friday Kresa doesn't plan to seek re-election.

Renee Rashid-Merem, a GM spokeswoman, said board members "are not typically eligible" for re-election after they turn 72.

"His status is being reviewed," she said.

GM added a 13th board member in April, naming Cynthia Telles, an associate clinical professor at the University of California at Los Angeles, to that position.

But GM said the board hadn't made any decisions about whether Teller might replace Kresa.

He didn't return a message left at his California home Friday.

Kresa led the automaker's board for about three months and presided over the board's decision to file for bankruptcy protection a year ago.

His tenure as chairman ended when most of the company's assets were sold to the new, post-bankruptcy General Motors Co.

As part of the management shakeup, the U.S. Treasury Department, which assumed a 61 percent stake in GM Co., named former AT&T CEO Edward Whitacre Jr. as chairman.

Kresa was one of the old GM directors who became a director at the new GM.

During his tenure, Kresa helped recruit four new members of GM's board.

In a June, 2009 interview, Steve Rattner, who was President Barack Obama's auto czar, praised Kresa's service as chairman, noting that he took the job on short notice.

Kresa heads the board's investment funds committee and is a member of its audit committee.

Kresa retired from Northrop in 2003 after 13 years as chairman and CEO, after helping turn around the company that he started with in 1976.

In addition to the GM board, Kresa also is a director at Fluor Corp., an engineering, procurement and construction company headquartered in Irving, Texas and at MannKind Corp., of Valencia, Calif., a biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the finding of therapeutic products for diseases such as diabetes and cancer.

From The Detroit News: http://www.detnews.com/article/20100619/AUTO01/6190305/1148/auto01/GM-director-Kent-Kresa-likely-to-leave#ixzz0rUahPFIC

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