GM shakes up management positions again

March 18, 2011

GM shakes up management positions again

Appointments come in Europe, product development area

The Detroit News
General Motor Co. is again shaking up its management ranks, with another round of appointments announced Thursday in vehicle development.
In addition to changes in Europe, GM is shuffling some key leaders in product development as the automaker’s new product chief, Mary Barra, begins to put her stamp on this crucial area of the business.
Among the moves effective April 1:
Terry Woychowski, who now heads global vehicle program management, will move to vice president of global quality and launches. His former position will be eliminated.
Woychowski will replace Daniel Nicholson, who will become executive director global powertrain.
Three group vehicle line executives who formerly reported to Woychowski will report directly to Barra. They include Jim Federico, who oversees small car development; Jeff Luke, who is responsible for trucks, vans and crossovers; and Randy Schwarz on full and midsize cars.
Sam Winegarden and Jim Lanzo are temporarily filling in as vice president of powertrain engineering, a position left vacant by James Hresko’s departure last month.
Barra, a 49-year-old electrical engineer by training, was promoted to the top product post in January.
GM also named Karl Friedrich Stracke chief executive for its Opel/Vauxhall unit in Europe, and said it’s elevating GM’s current European president, Nick Reilly, to chairman of Adam Opel AG’s management board.
Stracke, 55, will take over for Reilly, who has been running both the automaker’s European operations and its Opel/Vauxhall brand for the last year. The moves are effective April 1.
Stracke will report to Reilly. He replaces Hans Demant, who stepped down last year as head of Opel/Vauxhall as part of a broader management shakeup.
Reilly will also add Chevrolet and Cadillac in Europe to his oversight responsibilities.
The changes come at a pivotal time for GM’s European operations, which are undergoing massive restructuring after years of losses.
“Opel is seen as an interloper in Europe,” said Brian Johnson, an analyst at Barclays Capital. “Having a German here could help Opel rebuild itself as a German brand.”
GM said it hopes to break even in Europe by the end of this year.
John Calabrese, GM’s executive director for global engineering, will replace Stracke.

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