According to the Wall Street Journal, Whitacre “drew up the new management blueprint in a matter of four hours,” which is said to be part of an effort to improve accountability and responsibility for key market performance within General Motors. This suggests that the chairman already had a number of changes in mind and had the following to say about the managerial shuffle:
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.
Click past the break to see the changes made to GM’s upper echelon, along with the legendary GM Authority analysis, and – of course – GM’s full presser.
- Mark Reuss is now president of GM North America, having served a brief role as vice president of Engineering after heading up Holden in Australia (we covered this in more detail here). Reporting to Reuss are:
- Susan E. Docherty will be reporting to Reuss as vice president of Vehicle Sales, Service, and Marketing
- Diana D. Tremblay named vice president of Manufacturing and Labor Relations and most recently served as vice president, Labor Relations
- Denise C. Johnson named vice president, Labor Relations. Most recently, Johnson was line director and chief engineer for Global Small Cars. (Note the necessary overlap between Trembley’s and Johnson’s Labor Relation duties)
- Nick Reilly is now president of GM Europe and has been leading the restructuring efforts with Opel/Vauxhall. He will be leaving his role of GM International Operations
- Tim Lee appointed to role of president, GM International Operations – overseeing GM’s operations in Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Africa, and Middle East regions
- Bob Lutz remains vice chairman and will now serve as adviser on design and global product development
- Thomas G. Stephens will remain vice chairman of Global Product Operations and will take on global purchasing
- Robert E. Socia will continue at his post as vice president, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain
- Karl Friedrich Stacke named vice president of Engineering and was most recently executive director of Engineering
- J. Christopher Preuss will remain vice president of Communications but will now report to Whitacre instead of Lutz
Direct Support Staff to remain unchanged:
- Ray G. Young – CFO
- 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
- Ken W. Cole – vice president Government Relations and Public Policy
The GM Authority Take
First and foremost (and most important) – here is proof that changes are being made fast at the new GM, which has been long criticized of having too much of an insular culture.
Second of all – making one person responsible for Sales, Support, and Marketing (Susan Docherty) may seem strange until one comes to the realization that Sales and Support roles necessitates work with dealers. And since dealers are often the primary source of market feedback – Marketing fits very well here. Note that we’re talking Marketing here – a process that encompasses Advertising and not the other way around: Marketing begins with the customer and focuses on providing him with value.
Lastly – is it just us or does this follow way too close to Fritz Henderson’s sudden departure? It’s as if the whole thing was… staged (gasp!). The question now is – how long will it take to find a replacement CEO – or is Whitacre planning on crossing off interim from his business cards?
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 W. Cole, vice president Government Relations and Public Policy.
Biographical information on all GM’s corporate officers can be found at www.gm.com/corporate/about/officers.jsp?evar10=gm_investor_corporategov_officers#.