• Jan 20, 2011
It's musical chairs season at General Motors. The automaker has announced a rash of personnel changes in positions ranging from U.S. vice president to chief technology officer. Perhaps most interestingly, The General has appointed Mary Barra as the company's new vice president of global product development. That's quite a change from her previous post, where Berra served as the vice president of global human resources – a position she's held since 2009. Berra officially takes the reins on February 1.
That's the same day that Linda Marshall will take up her new post as president of OnStar. Marshall is taking the place of Chris Preuss, who has left GM to work as a communications consultant. Marshall joined OnStar in 2010 as the company's executive director of business strategy and development. Before that, she held senior executive positions with both Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel.

GM has also cooked up a new position to handle the wave of new technology flooding into vehicles. Vice Chairman Thomas G. Stephens has been chosen to be the company's new global chief technology officer. Stephens will be responsible for investigating new "game-changing" technologies for the company's products. He most recently served as the company's vice chairman of global product operations.

On the marketing side of things, Chris Perry has replaced Joel Ewanick as the GM vice president of global marketing. The move allows Rick Scheidt to take over Perry's old duties as the U.S. vice president of Chevrolet marketing. Ewanick, meanwhile, has moved to become the company's global chief marketing officer.

Additionally, John Schwegman has moved from being the U.S. vice president of Buick-GMC marketing to just handling VP duties for GMC. Tony DiSalle will take over as VP of Buick marketing. DiSalle formerly held a position as the product and marketing director for the Chevrolet Volt. Hit the jump for a slew of press releases.

[Source: General Motors]
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GM Appoints Mary Barra to Lead Global Product Development
2011-01-20

DETROIT – General Motors today named Mary Barra senior vice president, Global Product Development, to lead the design, engineering, program management and quality of vehicles for the company's 11 brands around the world.

"Mary will bring a fresh perspective to the critically important job of developing vehicles that delight global customers," said Dan Akerson, GM Chairman and CEO. "Her broad experience in engineering, manufacturing and staff functions, combined with the ability to collaborate and build strong relationships will enhance the company's ability to deliver the products today's consumers demand."

Barra will lead the Product Development organization responsible for managing all global vehicle programs for GM. In this position, she will continue to focus on the customer in the areas of global design, vehicle and powertrain engineering, program management and quality with the goal of delivering the world's best vehicles. With more than 36,000 members, her team will also manage global strategic product alliances.

"Knowing that today's global customer expects even more from their GM vehicle means we have to work harder than ever to exceed those expectations," said Barra. "I'm excited by the opportunity associated with this new challenge and pleased to be joining such a strong team with deep technical knowledge and experience."

Recognized for bringing diverse groups together for a common purpose, Barra was appointed vice president, Global Human Resources in 2009, to initiate change in the company's culture during the largest restructuring in GM's history. Prior to this appointment, she had been vice president, Global Manufacturing Engineering. Barra has also held a number of engineering and staff positions, including plant manager, Detroit Hamtramck Assembly Plant; executive director of Competitive Operations Engineering; and general director of Internal Communications for GM North America.

Barra began her career with General Motors in 1980 as a General Motors Institute (Kettering University) co-op student at the Pontiac Motor Division. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering. In 1988, Barra received a GM fellowship to the Stanford Graduate School of Business and in 1990 graduated with an MBA in Business Administration.

She serves on the Kettering University Board of Trustees and Inforum Center for Leadership Board of Directors. Barra is also Key Executive for Stanford University.

Barra was named one of Automotive News' 100 Leading Women in the North American Auto Industry" in 2005, and again in 2010. In 2010, she also earned Kettering Alumni Association's Management Achievement Award for her specific contributions with positive and lasting effects in the field of management.

Barra, 49, will continue to report to Akerson and serve on the Executive Committee. Her move becomes effective Feb. 1.

A successor for Barra in Global Human Resources will be announced at a later date.


Linda Marshall Named President of OnStar
2011-01-18

DETROIT – General Motors (NYSE: GM, TSX: GMM) today announced that Linda Marshall has been appointed president of OnStar, effective February 1, 2011. Marshall succeeds J. Christopher Preuss, who has elected to leave the company to launch a communications consultancy practice.

"As we continue to evolve the OnStar brand and bring new features to our customers, we believe Linda's deep experience can take the brand and platform to the next level," said Stephen J. Girsky, vice chairman, corporate strategy and business development. "Over the past year, Chris was instrumental in helping create a clear vision and strategy for aligning OnStar with GM infotainment plans and entering the retail market. We thank Chris for his many contributions to GM and wish him every success."

Marshall, who will report to Girsky, joined GM in November 2010 as executive director, OnStar global business strategy and development. Prior to joining OnStar, she was the chief operating officer for Revol Wireless.

Marshall has more than two decades of experience in the telecommunications industry, including senior executive-level roles at both Sprint Nextel and Verizon Wireless. She holds a bachelors of science in accounting and business from Elmhurst College and completed the Executive Management Program at Stanford University.

Marshall was named one of Crain's "Top 100 Women" in 1997 and 2001 and "Most Recognized 15% Women in Wireless" in 1997. Marshall currently serves on the advisory board for Childhelp USA which provides foster care and adoption services in Michigan and nationally. She previously served on the Board for the Judson Center, located in Royal Oak, Mich.


GM Establishes Global Chief Technology Officer
Vice Chairman Thomas G. Stephens to Lead Technology Development

2011-01-19

DETROIT – In a move to bring greater focus and urgency to developing leading edge technology for all General Motors vehicles, the company today named Thomas G. Stephens its new Global Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

"Customers today expect and deserve the very best technology from their GM vehicles," said GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson. "Tom will make sure that GM technology keeps up with our customers and keeps ahead of our competitors."

The new CTO position is a major element of Akerson's goal to make the company more customer driven and technology focused. In December, Akerson elevated Joel Ewanick to Global Chief Marketing Officer, responsible for GM's brands globally.

As GM vice chairman and Chief Technology Officer, Stephens will strengthen the company's technology vision and focus, working across the global organization to anticipate and deliver innovation for customers in each market. His primary role is to seek creative solutions and game-changing technologies to help GM shape the automotive future, leveraging internal and external partnerships to benefit customers today and tomorrow. Stephens also will be responsible for the company's research and development organization led by GM vice president Alan Taub.

"Today's cars and trucks are technology on wheels," said Stephens. "I'm excited about working with the GM team in new ways and focusing my energy to keep us on the leading edge of automotive innovation."
Stephens most recently was vice chairman, Global Product Operations. Over his 42-year career, he has held a number of key positions, including vice president of Engineering in both the former GM Powertrain organization and GM Truck Group, vice president of Vehicle Integration and executive vice president of Global Powertrain and Global Quality. Early in his career, Stephens was assistant chief engineer of the Cadillac Northstar engine, and plant manager of the Livonia Engine Plant. Based on his broad experience and expertise, he was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering, for his leadership role in the development of automotive powertrains with improved performance, fuel efficiency, and lower emissions.

Stephens, 62, will continue to report to Akerson and remains on the company's Executive Committee. His move becomes effective on Feb. 1.

A successor for Stephens in Global Product Development will be announced soon.


GM Names Chris Perry Vice President, U.S. Marketing
Leadership Changes also announced for Chevrolet, Buick and GMC

2011-01-18

DETROIT – General Motors today announced the following leadership changes in its U.S. marketing operations, effective February 1:

Chris Perry, is appointed vice president, U.S. marketing, replacing Joel Ewanick. Perry will report to Ewanick, who was named Global Chief Marketing Officer on Dec. 17, 2010.

Perry, 50, had served as U.S. vice president, Chevrolet Marketing, since September 2010.

Prior to joining GM, Perry was vice president, marketing, Hyundai Motor America. Perry also spent nearly 10 years at American Isuzu Motors, where he held a variety of marketing and advertising positions.
In his new role, Perry will have responsibility for improving the positioning of the Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac brands and consumer consideration of GM vehicles in the United States.

Rick Scheidt, currently executive director, Chevrolet product marketing, is named U.S. vice president, Chevrolet Marketing, replacing Perry. Scheidt, 57, joined GM in 1980, and has held several marketing positions within GM, primarily with the Chevrolet brand.

In addition, in order to continue to build on the distinct brand positioning and increased customer focus of Buick and GMC, the following changes are effective February 1

John Schwegman, currently U.S. vice president, Buick-GMC Marketing, is named U.S. vice president, GMC Marketing.

Schwegman, 46, began his career with General Motors in 1988. He has held numerous sales and marketing assignments, including positions at the former Pontiac and Saturn divisions and in General Motors Market and Industry Analysis. Most recently, he led the Marketing launches for Chevrolet's current generation full-size trucks brands.

Tony DiSalle, currently product and marketing director, Chevrolet Volt, is named U.S. vice president, Buick Marketing.

DiSalle, 46, began his career with GM in 1988. He has held several management positions, including key assignments at OnStar and within GM's marketing operations.

"These moves support our plans to continue building very clear and distinct swim lanes for our four brands, "said Joel Ewanick, Global Chief Marketing Director. "These individuals have great track records for leading very aggressive and creative marketing strategies."


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 9 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      Let me get this straight... Someone from HR is doing product development?!? Anyone else see a problem here? I know that the job of managing people is pretty much the same everywhere across all disciplines, but c'mon. But someone in charge of product development has to be a visionary, because otherwise they're just herding sheep and releasing a product just to release something.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Thanks.

      Weird that they took someone in charge of engineering and manufacturing and had her take charge of HR. Now they're having her take charge of product develoment... I don't want to typecast people, but there's something to be said about playing to someone's strengths. Positions exist in sports for a reason.
      • 3 Years Ago
      How about replacing "Lt. Dan" as CEO with actual car guy?
      • 3 Years Ago
      "On the marketing side of things, Chris Perry has replaced Joel Ewanick as the GM vice president of global marketing. The move allows Rick Scheidt to take over Perry's old duties as the U.S. vice president of Chevrolet marketing. Ewanick, meanwhile, has moved to become the company's global chief marketing officer."


      I thought Perry was now in charge of US marketing...
      • 3 Years Ago
      So they are putting an HR person in charge of Product Development... brilliant!

      Wasn't that Maximum Bob's former seat?

      Sounds like 80's GM is back in play. Can she even drive a manual?
        • 3 Years Ago
        Don't laugh. They could bring back Ron Zarella.
      • 3 Years Ago
      And not one mention of quality. But we know where that ranks at GM.
      • 3 Years Ago
      When ISN'T it "musical chairs season" at GM?
      Back in the 80's and 90's when I was in the business, this was one of my biggest issues with GM. They shuffle people around so much that there's never any continuity in the place. People never really "dig-in" and try to make a difference in their department because they're too worried about covering their butt, and figuring that they won't be there long enough to worry about it. Amazing they never seem to learn.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I don't care who is doin what, just keep building what you should have been years ago.