It's been one heck of a week for Opel. After months of negotiations between Magna and its partners on the one hand and General Motors on the other, the American parent company opted to hold on to its European subsidiary. In the wake of the decision, Opel's chief executive Carl-Peter Forster jumped ship, leaving the company's future hanging in the balance as he looked to move on to greener pastures.

The General, eager to capitalize on its decision, has wasted no time in getting its European assets back online, and has already announced the appointment of an interim CEO to steer the company until a suitable full-time replacement can be found. But contrary to reports that suggested Bob Lutz could get the job, GM has named Nick Reilly to the post.

As executive VP of General Motors and president of its international operations, Reilly is no stranger to Opel and its British counterpart Vauxhall. The English-born exec has held a number of posts for GM in Europe, and presently operates out of Shanghai. While taking the reins at Opel/Vauxhall, Reilly will continue to oversee the auto giant's vast global operations, but will rely on his legion of regional managers to take more direct control. Follow the jump for the full press release, including Reilly's bio.

[Source: GM | Photo by PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty]


PRESS RELEASE:

Reilly to Lead Opel/Vauxhall Operations
Search for New CEO Underway

November 11, 2009

DETROIT – Nick Reilly, GM executive vice president and president, GM International Operations, will immediately assume responsibility for the operations of Opel/Vauxhall Europe while an external search for a new CEO commences, it was announced today.

Reilly, with extensive prior experience in Europe with the Opel and Vauxhall brands, will support the European leadership team in running the business and will oversee the creation of a strategy to position Opel/Vauxhall for long-term success. Reilly maintains overall direction of GM's International Operations based in Shanghai, China, but day-to-day operations of the various international subsidiaries in his organization will be handled by the respective country managing directors while he serves in Europe.

"As we announced last Tuesday, Opel/Vauxhall will remain a fully integrated member of the New GM family, a decision that is in the best interests of Opel/Vauxhall, its customers, employees, other stakeholders and GM," said Fritz Henderson, GM president and CEO. "With his deep experience with the Opel and Vauxhall brands, Nick is well suited to lead this transition and to work toward the earliest possible normalization of the business."

Hans Demant, GM Europe vice president Engineering, managing director Adam Opel GmbH, retains his role leading the Opel Management Board and will work with Reilly in the transitn.

Biography of David N. (Nick) Reilly

GM Executive Vice President,
President,
GM International Operations

Nick Reilly was appointed GM executive vice president and president of GM International Operations (GMIO), effective July 10, 2009. Based in Shanghai, China, he is also chairman of both the GM Daewoo Auto and Technology Company (GMDAT) and Shanghai GM (SGM).

Reilly had served as GM group vice president and president of GM Asia Pacific since July 1, 2006.

Reilly began his GM career in 1975 with the former Detroit Diesel Allison Division in the United Kingdom. From 1978 to 1984, he held various assignments with General Motors in Belgium, the United States, and Mexico.

Returning to England, he moved to Vauxhall Motors as general operations manager, aftersales. He later held the post of Vauxhall supply manager and was appointed a director of the company in 1986.

In 1987, Reilly was named vice president of operations and a member of the board of directors of GM's IBC vehicle joint venture with Isuzu in Luton, England. In 1990, he was appointed director of manufacturing at Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port plant. Four years later, he became vice president of quality and reliability for General Motors Europe in Zurich, Switzerland, and a member of the GM Europe Strategy Board.

He returned to the U.K. in 1996 as chairman and managing director of Vauxhall and, in 1997, was named a GM vice president. In 2001, Reilly returned to Zurich, Switzerland, as vice president of sales, marketing, and aftersales for GM Europe, from where he transferred to Korea to lead GM's transition team in the formation of GM Daewoo, beginning in January 2002. He assumed the duties of president and chief executive officer of GMDAT upon the company's founding in October 2002.

A native of the United Kingdom, Reilly is a graduate of Cambridge University. In 2000, he was appointed as a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in recognition of his contribution to the U.K. automotive industry. He has advised the U.K. government in the fields of vocational training and integrated transport. He received the Global CEO Grand Prize 2006 from the Korean Academy of International Business.

Reilly serves as deputy chairman of the Seoul International Business Advisory Council (SIBAC), is past chairman of the U.S. National Center for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (NCAPEC), and is a member of the U.S. APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC).

About General Motors: General Motors, one of the world's largest automakers, traces its roots back to 1908. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 209,000 people in every major region of the world and does business in some 140 countries. GM and its strategic partners produce cars and trucks in 34 countries, and sell and service these vehicles through the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM's largest national market is the United States, followed by China, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Canada, Russia and Germany. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. General Motors acquired operations from General Motors Corporation on July 10, 2009, and references to prior periods in this and other press materials refer to operations of the old General Motors Corporation. More information on the new General Motors can be found at www.gm.com.

In Europe, GM sells its vehicles in over 40 markets. It operates 10 vehicle-production and assembly facilities in seven countries and employs about 50,000 people. More information on GM can be found at http://media.gm.com/content/media/intl/en/news.brand_GM.html and http://www.gmeurope.com. GM Europe executive blog at http://drivingconversations.com.