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GM’s Buick-GMC Chief Said to Leave Eight Days After Being Hired

GM’s Buick-GMC Chief Said to Leave Eight Days After Being Hired


By Katie Merx

Dec. 10 (Bloomberg) — General Motors Co.’s chief of the Buick and GMC brands is leaving eight days after joining the biggest U.S. automaker, two people familiar with the matter said yesterday.

Michael D. Richards

Richards’s departure means Whitacre, 68, will be able to deepen his imprint on senior management. The former AT&T Inc. chairman and CEO, who was appointed to the board in June, chose new leaders for GM’s North American and European operations among other positions on Dec. 4. He told reporters Dec. 8 that newly promoted executives didn’t have long to show results.

"What they’re doing is getting away from the entrenched old-think GM, and get to the free thinkers," said

Dayna Hart, a spokeswoman for Detroit-based GM, declined to comment on Richards.

He had been hired to replace

Other Changes

Earlier, GM announced the retirement of

James M. Campbell, 45, the former head of fleet and commercial operations, will replace Dewar as general manager of the global Chevrolet brand.

Dewar said in an e-mail that his decision was in part to spend more time with his daughter. Dewar joined General Motors of Canada in 1978, according to his company biography.

Whitacre, chosen to lead GM’s board by President

He told reporters this week that he may name a replacement for Chief Financial Officer


, formerly of Ford Motor Co., was hired Dec. 1, the same day that Fritz Henderson was ousted as chief executive officer and replaced by Chairman Ed Whitacre. No replacement for Richards has been named, said the people, who asked not to be identified, because the move isn’t public yet. George Peterson, president of AutoPacific Inc., an industry consultant in Tustin, California. "It seems like they’re headed in the right direction of getting leaner and meaner." Susan Docherty, who was promoted earlier to head of sales and on Dec. 4 became vice president of vehicle sales, service and marketing. Richards worked most recently at Austin, Texas-based software maker Trilogy Inc. and wasn’t available to comment. Brent Dewar, 54, the head of Chevrolet, GM’s top-selling brand. Barack Obama’s automotive task force, told employees last week that the CEO search may take as long as a year and that he wouldn’t waste any time. Ray Young in two or three weeks. "We’re close and have narrowed it down and have a real good candidate," Whitacre said in a Web chat.



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