Mark LaNeve, General Motors' head of U.S. sales, is reportedly set to leave the company on October 15th. LaNeve had been appointed GM North America vice president of marketing and advertising back in September of 2004 after starting his career as the brand manager for the now-defunct Pontiac Bonneville.

A quick glance at our monthly By the Numbers series of posts will show that GM's sales figures here in the States have been in a downward spiral for a good long time, so perhaps the company decided some fresh blood was needed.

At this point, GM has not yet announced a replacement for LaNeve, though Jim Bunnell, executive director of sales operations, will reportedly continue to lead the automaker's dealership consolidation plans. It's also not clear if The General will look outside its own operations or attempt to recruit from within for his replacement.

In an email sent to GM employees, company head Fritz Henderson had this to say regarding LaNeve's departure:
Mark has contributed significantly to GM in several key positions, including transforming the Cadillac brand and leading the vehicle sales, service and marketing organization during one of the most challenging periods in GM's history. Please join me in thanking Mark for his dedication and wishing him and his family well. A replacement for Mark will be named at a later date.
[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req'd | Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images]