Opel has announced the appointment of Ulrich Schumacher as Member of the Board of Management responsible for Human Resources, and Director Labor Relations at Adam Opel AG as well as GM Europe Vice President Human Resources. The appointment is effective May 1.
Most recently, the 55-year-old lawyer was Vice President of Human Resources Europe at Toyota Boshoku. Schumacher (no relation to the professional race car driver, as far as we can tell) previously served in a senior human resources position for the automotive supplier Magna International (which almost bought Opel from GM in 2009), and performed executive functions at car manufacturer Ford as well as insurance company Allianz.
“It is a major goal of our ten-year plan “DRIVE!2022″ to be one of the most attractive employers in the industry. With his extensive experience in Europe and beyond, Ulrich Schumacher will lead our long-standing Opel brand to former strength – also from a HR perspective,” says Opel Supervisory Board Chairman Steve Girsky.
Schumacher is replacing 54-year-old Holger Kimmes, who is leaving the company to seek new opportunities.
“We thank Holger Kimmes for his years of work and wish him well for his future career”, said Girsky.
According to an Opel press release, Kimmes was personnel manager in Eisenach, playing a leading role in the setup of the fourth German Opel plant immediately after the reunification of Germany. Since January 2010, he was responsible for Human Resources at Opel/Vauxhall Europe as Vice President Personnel.
The GM Authority Take
While most conversations related to the Opel of today revolve around profitability and product, it is important to note that neither one of those goals will be attainable with a high degree of success without hard-working, dedicated, intelligent, and otherwise world-class employees. As such, a capable human resources director plays a crucial role in attracting and retaining such talent. Let’s see what Mr. Schumacher (we still can’t get over the fast last name!) can do to help Opel, and thereby the rest of General Motors.