It may be tough to remember the news earlier in the day that Bryan Nesbitt would be out as the head of Cadillac and back to his old position as executive director, advanced concept group. A metric ton of reveals from the Geneva Motor Show has a tendency to do that kind of thing... but General Motors rather quietly let loose a whole slew of sweeping changes to its North American leadership team. According to Mark Reuss, GM North America president:
It's become extremely clear to me since taking this role that there is a better way to structure this organization. The premise of the structure is simple – a clearer marketing focus to sell more vehicles, and freeing our sales and service experts to focus on customers and dealers... We've worked with a small group of executives to align this model and appoint the best candidates for each job.
Shortly after the announcement went out, Reuss held a conference call during which he admitted that GM's sales performance was not keeping up with the progress the automaker has recently made with its vehicle lineup. Hence, the leadership shakeup. The moves are way too thorough to go over here, so we suggest you click on past the break for the complete rundown straight from The General. Summing up the changes, Reuss had this to say:
This structure has been developed with as few layers as possible between me, the dealer and the customer. By removing layers and giving leaders increased accountability, we allow them to move faster and focus on what needs to be done.

[Source: General Motors | Image: Bill Pugliano/Getty]
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GM Announces New North American Leadership Team
  • Enhanced focus on customer and dealer support
  • GM North America business unit strengthened
  • Separate organizations created for sales and marketing

DETROIT – General Motors today announced a restructured North American organization with a number of key leadership changes.

Intense Focus on the Customer


GM North America is focused on strengthening consideration for the company's brands and products, shifting from a combined sales and marketing organization to one that enables the company to engage experts in each respective role. With a flatter structure, accountability is elevated to the highest level.

"It's become extremely clear to me since taking this role that there is a better way to structure this organization," said Mark Reuss, GM North America president. "The premise of the structure is simple -- a clearer marketing focus to sell more vehicles, and freeing our sales and service experts to focus on customers and dealers.

"In order to be successful in North America, we need the right mix of product, people and structure," Reuss continued, "We've worked with a small group of executives to align this model and appoint the best candidates for each job."

All appointments are effective immediately.

Marketing Organization

As the single point for marketing, Susan Docherty is appointed vice president, U.S. marketing, reporting to Reuss. Senior executives reporting to Docherty, responsible for the marketing of their respective brands include:

* Jim Campbell, U.S. marketing vice president, Chevrolet;
* Don Butler, U.S. marketing vice president, Cadillac. Butler rejoins the company from INRIX; and,
* John Schwegman, U.S. marketing vice president, Buick-GMC. Schwegman was most recently Chevrolet product marketing director.

Sales Organization

Reinforcing the company's intense focus on the customer, sales leaders for the brands also reporting directly to Reuss include:

* Alan Batey, vice president, sales and service, Chevrolet. Batey was most recently president and managing director of GM's Holden operations in Australia. A replacement for Batey will be named at a later date;
* Brian Sweeney remains with the Buick-GMC as U.S. sales and service vice president;
* Kurt McNeil, U.S. sales and service vice president, Cadillac. McNeil was previously general sales manager, Chevrolet.

A leader in design, Bryan Nesbitt is leaving Cadillac and returning to his home organization as executive director, advanced concept group, reporting to Ed Welburn, vice president, global design.

Reporting to Reuss, Steve Carlisle is appointed vice president, U.S. sales operations, responsible for dealer network, retail sales support and fleet & commercial. Carlisle was most recently executive director, GM South East Asia Operations, and president, managing director, GM Thailand. Carlisle will be replaced by Martin Apfel, who will report to Tim Lee, president of GM International Operations. Apfel was most recently executive director of global manufacturing and planning. Senior executives reporting to Carlisle, responsible for their respective functions include:

* Jim Bunnell, general director, network support; and
* Brian Small, general manager, fleet & commercial;
* A general manager, retail sales support will be named at a later date.

"This structure has been developed with as few layers as possible between me, the dealer and the customer," said Reuss. "By removing layers and giving leaders increased accountability, we allow them to move faster and focus on what needs to be done."

Other Key North American Organizations

In addition to direct lines for marketing and sales, the following key North American organizations will report directly to Reuss.

New appointments include:

* Chris Preuss, vice president and president, OnStar. Preuss was most recently vice president, Communications, reporting to Ed Whitacre. Preuss succeeds Walt Dorfstatter, who will assume an executive director role in global product operations. A replacement for Preuss will be named at a later date;
* Kevin Williams, president and managing director, GM Canada. Most recently, Williams was responsible for leading service & parts operations (SPO). He succeeds Arturo Elias, who will take a position in the company's public policy center, reporting to John Montford, senior advisor, public policy;
* Steve Hill, general manager, GM customer care and aftersales. Most recently Hill was general manager, retail sales support.

The following executives continue in their current positions:

* Grace Lieblein, president and managing director, GM de Mexico;
* Diana Tremblay, vice president, manufacturing and labor relations; and
* Chuck Stevens, chief financial officer for North America.

Mary Sipes returns to portfolio planning as executive director, North American product planning, a key interface to the global engineering and product development organizations. In this position, she reports to Jon Lauckner, vice president global product planning. Sipes was previously executive director, corporate planning.

The North American team is also supported with executives from key functions including human resources, legal, information technology, and communications.

"This is my team. Leaders with exceptional talent from around the world, combined with strategic thinking from outside. They are the right team for GM North America now, hand-picked and put in place to win," concluded Reuss.