Well, that was quick. Fritz Henderson, the recently appointed CEO of General Motors, is stepping down. Company chairman of the board Ed Whitacre (remember the "Satisfaction Guaranteed" commercials, that's the guy) is set to act as the interim CEO until a permanent replacement is found.
This marks the second CEO that beleaguered automaker General Motors has lost this year, the first being Rick Wagoner, who was asked to resign by the Obama Administration's Task Force for Autos. Over the last few months, deals that GM had made to offload Opel, Saturn and Saab have all fallen through, and some have reported on clashing styles between Whitacre and Henderson.
General Motors has just confirmed the news via a press conference being held as we speak. Stay tuned for more as we learn it.
UPDATE: Official Statement from Ed Whitacre, GM's new interim CEO, added after the jump.
[Source: Free Press, GM | Image: Philippe Lopez/Getty]
GM Statement Attributed to To Chairman Ed Whitacre
At its monthly meeting in Detroit today, the General Motors Board of Directors accepted the resignation of Fritz Henderson as Director, President and CEO of the company.
Fritz has done a remarkable job in leading the company through an unprecedented period of challenge and change. While momentum has been building over the past several months, all involved agree that changes needed to be made. To this end, I have taken over the role of Chairman and CEO while an international search for a new president and CEO begins immediately. With these new duties, I will begin working in the Renaissance Center headquarters on a daily basis. The leadership team – many who are with me today – are united and committed to the task at hand.
I want to assure all of our employees, dealers, suppliers, union partners and most of all, our customers, that GM's daily business operations will continue as normal. I remain more convinced than ever that our company is on the right path and that we will continue to be a leader in offering the worldwide buying public the highest quality, highest value cars and trucks. We now need to accelerate our progress toward that goal, which will also mean a return to profitability and repaying the American and Canadian tax payers as soon as possible.
In closing, I want to once again thank Fritz Henderson for his years of leadership and service to General Motors; we're grateful for his many contributions. I look forward to working with the entire GM team as we now begin the next chapter of this great company.