As expected, GM announced a restructured North American organization with a flurry of key leadership changes across core North American brands, including Chevrolet, Cadillac, and Buick-GMC.
GM North America (GMNA) is moving away from a combined sales and marketing organization to one that “enables the company to engage experts in each respective role.” That’s code for matching more qualified personnel with jobs that require more expertise. GM is adopting a flatter structure where accountability is key.
In a press release, GM North America President Mark Reuss said:
It’s become extremely clear to me since taking this role that there is a better way to structure this organization. The premise of the structure is simple — a clearer marketing focus to sell more vehicles, and freeing our sales and service experts to focus on customers and dealers.
That’s an indirect reference to Susan Docherty, who has been relieved of sales and support responsibilities, but remains in charge of marketing. All changes are effective immediately. Reuss went on to say that:
In order to be successful in North America, we need the right mix of product, people and structure. We’ve worked with a small group of executives to align this model and appoint the best candidates for each job.
GM is placing great emphasis on its hope that these changes will lead to an increased focus on the customer, as it places responsibility directly on the executives in charge. We’ve been hearing reports for some time that CEO Ed Whitacre is a big proponent of placing increased responsibility on more employees.
Click past the break to see the revised organization structure.Mark Reuss – GM North America President. Reporting to Reuss are:
- Susan Docherty – Marketing Organization U.S. Vice President (VP)
- Jim Campbell – VP, U.S Marketing, Chevrolet
- Don Butler – VP U.S. Marketing, Cadillac. Butler rejoins GM from INRIX
- John Schwegman -VP U.S. Marketing, Buick-GMC. He was most recently Chevrolet product marketing director.
- Sales Organization – U.S. Vice Presidents of Sales and Service reporting to Mark Reuss:
- Alan Batey – VP Sales and Service, Chevrolet. Most recently, Batey was President and Managing Director of Holden in Australia
- Brian Sweeney – remains VP, Sales and Service, Buick-GMC
- Kurt McNeil – U.S. sales and service VP, Cadillac. McNeil was previously sales manager, Chevrolet
Of note, Bryan Nesbitt is leaving Cadillac and “returning to his home organization as executive director, advanced concept group.” He will report to Ed Welburn, Vice President, Global Design.
Steve Carlisle – VP U.S. sales operations is responsible for dealer network retail sales support and fleet and commercial. Carlisle was most recently executive director, GM South East Asia Operations and President and Managing Director, GM Thailand. He will be replaced by Martin Apfel, who will report to Tim Lee – President of GM International Operations. Reporting to Carlisle are:
- Jim Bunnell – General Director, network support
- Brian Small – General Director, fleet & commercial
- A General Manager, retail sales support, who will be named at a later date
According to Mark Reuss:
This structure has been developed with as few layers as possible between me, the dealer and the customer. By removing layers and giving leaders increased accountability, we allow them to move faster and focus on what needs to be done.
Other Key North American Organizations
- Chris Preuss – VP, OnStar. Preuss was most recently President of Communications reporting to Ed Whitacre. Preuss succeeds Walt Dorfstatter, who will assume an executive director role in global product operations. A replacement for Preuss will be named at a later date
- Kevin Williams – President and Managing Director, GM Canada. Most recently, Williams was responsible for leading service & parts operations (SPO). He succeeds Arturo Elias, who will take a position in the company’s public policy center, reporting to John Montford, senior advisor, public policy
- Steve Hill – General Manager, GM customer care and aftersales. Most recently Hill was General Manager, retail sales support.
The following executives continue in their current positions:
- Grace Lieblein – President and Managing Director, GM de Mexico
- Diana Tremblay – Vice President, manufacturing and labor relations
- Chuck Stevens, Chief Financial Officer for North America
Mary Sipes returns to portfolio planning as executive director, North American product planning, a key interface to the global engineering and product development organizations. In this position, she reports to Jon Lauckner, vice president global product planning. Sipes was previously executive director, corporate planning.
GM also noted that the North American team is supported with executives from key functions including human resources, legal, information technology, and communications.
Reuss concluded by saying that:
This is my team. Leaders with exceptional talent from around the world, combined with strategic thinking from outside. They are the right team for GM North America now, hand-picked and put in place to win.
The GM Authority Take
This is great news for GM and its fans. Placing greater direct responsibility on executives is bound to lead to better results in sales and marketing. Can we ask why this wasn’t done, say, ten years ago? Afterall, personell planning was an MBA pillar for how long? Here’s the org chart in living and breathing color!