In what is easily the biggest executive shuffle of the year, General Motors has repositioned dozens of executives in product development and – most importantly – appointed new heads of global product planning, powertrain engineering, and quality.
The biggest news of the shakeup is that CEO Ed Whitacre will take the responsibility of global product planning from Tom Stephens, who will retain control of product development, design, engineering and purchasing. Interestingly, nobody was removed from the company as a result of this top-down reorganization.
Starting From The Top
Steve Carlisle moves from his position of VP of U.S. Sales Operations (a position he held since only March) and replaces Jon Lauckner as VP of Global Product Planning. Carlisle, who will report to Whitacre, holds previous experience in The General’s product planning department in markets outside the United States as well as GM’s truck group. Lauckner will become the head of GM’s new Venture Capital Unit and will report to Vice Chairman Steve Girsky.
As for Carlisle’s old position, it will go to Don Johnson, GM’s International Operations VP of Marketing. Johnson will report to GM North America President Mark Reuss.
Onward to Jamie Hresko, who is replacing Don Hancock as the VP of Global Powertrain Engineering. Hresko, who will report to Stephens, was the VP of Global Quality since September 2008. Hancock will take on an all-new position as VP of Global Strategic Product Alliances, focusing on joint ventures and partnerships with other automotive companies. He will report to Stephens. Dan Nicholson, the former Executive Director of electronic integration and software, has replaced Hresko and will also report to Stephens. Nicholson will be replaced by Kent Helfrich.
The Engineering Department
John Calabrese becomes the Executive Director of body, exterior, interior, safety, and Heating Venting and Air Conditioning (HVAC). Under him are Jim Hentschel, who is the Executive Director of dimensional engineering as well as body and exterior; Jeff Boyer who is now the Executive Director of interior and safety; Ray Bierzynski becomes the new executive director of HVAC/ powertrain cooling.
Micky Bly adds the responsibilities of infotainment and OnStar engineering to his present role as Executive Director for electrical systems, hybrids, electric vehicles (EV’s) and batteries. Changes under him will encompass Tim Nixon, who becomes exec. director of infotainment and OnStar engineering and Kristem Siemen, executive director for electrical systems.
Ken Kelzer will now be accountable for induction controls and exhaust and will become the Executive Director of chassis for the Canadian engineering center.
The engineers in global powertrain are also subject to the shuffle pandemic. Dean Gaurd will now oversee the program execution for engines, where Jeff Baran is now the Executive Director of program execution for transmissions. To round it all off, Chris Meagher becomes Executive Director of the Global Transmission Hardware Resource Center and Technical Resource Center.
Global Vehicle Programs
The Global Vehicles team experienced more changes than the Powertrain team, with Jeff Luke becoming both line executive and chief engineer for global trucks, vans and crossovers. Under him is Jully Burau, who becomes the global chief engineer for full-sized trucks. Parallel to Luke is James Federico who takes accountability for both chief engineer and line executive for full and mid-sized cars. Randy Schwarz is the new vehicle line executive and chief engineer for global full and mid-sized as well as RWD cars. Under him, Jim Dolot is now the vehicle line executive for full and mid-sized cars, Bill Shaw gets the envied position of vehicle line executive for all RWD and performance cars. Mark Moussa rounds up the changes in this department as the new global chief engineer for full and midsized cars.
Global Purchasing And Supply Chain / Global R&D
And now for the final shakeups: Kim Brycz gains the role of Executive Director of group electrical and Randy Pappal assumes the position of Executive Director overseeing group exterior, interior, safety, HVAC for North America. Susanna Webber gains the rank of VP for Global Purchasing and Supply Chain for GM Europe. Positioning changes that will take effect September 1st of this year – Tom McMillen starts his position as the executive director of supplier quality effective September 1st, Susanna Webber will become a GM Europe VP for global purchasing and supply chains and Dale Kitchen will gain rank of executive director of global logistics and containers. Rounding all of it out, Gary Smyth is the new Executive Director of all science laboratories in North America.
Now this is the team with which GM is going forward! Will we see more changes? Let us know what you think in the comments!