GM emerges from bankruptcy [the first one]
David Shepardson / The Detroit News
General Motors Co. completed the paperwork, and its good assets exited
bankruptcy at 6:30 a.m. this morning. The new company also announced a
shake-up of its management team, eliminating its North American
president position and some other top jobs.
GM's president and CEO Fritz Henderson will take responsibility for GM's
operations in North America, eliminating the GM North America president
"To speed day-to-day decision-making, two senior leadership forums, the
Automotive Strategy Board and Automotive Product Board, will be replaced
by a single, smaller executive committee, which will meet more
frequently and focus on business results, products, brands and
customers," GM said.
General Motors will also end its regional operating structure. This
eliminates the regional president positions and the regional strategy
boards. Nick Reilly will be named executive vice president of GM
International Operations (GMIO), which will be based in Shanghai.
"It's an exciting day for General Motors," Henderson said. "We will work
hard to repay the trust and the money that so many have invested in GM."
GM and Treasury Department officials signed the documents at a company
law firm in New York.
GM held an internal employee broadcast at 8:30 this morning ahead of
Henderson's press conference.
GM said the company is launching a "Tell Fritz" Web site to improve
customer communications. Starting in August, Henderson will be on the
road every month -- and around the world -- to meet with customers and
others. "We need to listen ... to the people who matter most -- the
people who own and drive General Motors cars and trucks," he said.
The Detroit automaker has shed billions in debt, cutting four of its
eight brands and trimming its work force significantly, among other
measures. Its good assets had been approved for sale to a group headed
by the U.S. Treasury, though the Obama administration insists it will
not "micromanage" the company. The government -- in exchange for
agreeing invest $50 billion in GM -- will hold a 60.8 percent stake in GM.
GM noted that by the end of 2010, the company will operate 34 assembly,
powertrain and stamping plants, down from 47 in 2008, and capacity
utilization is expected to reach 100 percent during 2011. Overall U.S.
employment will decline from about 91,000 at the end of 2008 to about
64,000 at the end of this year, "creating a company sized to respond
quickly to changes in the market, while still retaining the global scope
necessary to develop world-class products and technologies."
A new board of directors will be in place by the end of the month, and
some executive management changes are expected to be announced this
morning. GM's vice chairman Bob Lutz will announce he is staying with
the company in a new role heading the company's marketing and
communications department. He will remain as a vice chairman
"responsible for all creative elements of products and customer
Lutz and Tom Stephens, vice chairman of product development, will work
together, partnering with Ed Welburn, vice president of design, to guide
all creative aspects of design. GM's brands, marketing, advertising and
communications will report to Lutz for consistent messaging and results.
He will report to Henderson, and be part of the newly formed executive
"I am pleased to announce that we are 'unretiring' Bob Lutz so he can
fill this important position in the new GM," said Henderson. "He has a
proven track record of unleashing creativity in the design and
development of GM cars and trucks. This new role allows him to take that
passion a step further, applying it to other parts of GM that connect
directly with customers."