Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

"iVIOLATED"

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Back to school!

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan Protests: Democracy put to the test (part 2)

Read more

WEB NEWS

USA: thousands pay tribute to Michael Brown

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

France's Iliad considers fresh offer for T-Mobile

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Is Carla Bruni against a political comeback for Sarkozy?

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan Protests: Democracy put the test (Part One)

Read more

ENCORE!

The French Maestro of Soul

Read more

FOCUS

US tobacco giants want lion's share of e-cigarette business

Read more

  • NATO plans new 'spearhead' force to counter Russia

    Read more

  • French education ministry picture sparks racist abuse

    Read more

  • UN backs Iraqi request for inquiry into IS militant crimes

    Read more

  • US military targets Somalia's al Shabaab Islamist group

    Read more

  • Monaco’s Falcao leaves Ligue 1 for Man Utd

    Read more

  • Obama calls for higher wages amid 'revving' US economy

    Read more

  • Video: Ukraine’s children return to school as fighting rages on

    Read more

  • Americans detained in North Korea call for US help

    Read more

  • US urges Israel to reverse West Bank land seizure

    Read more

  • Lesotho PM calls for regional peacekeeping force after ‘coup’

    Read more

  • Ukrainian forces retreat from Luhansk airport after clashes

    Read more

  • Teddy Riner, France’s unstoppable judo champion

    Read more

  • Death toll rises in Paris apartment building blast

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces free Amerli in biggest victory over IS militants since June

    Read more

  • French police arrest hungry hedgehog hunters

    Read more

  • Tripoli under control of militias, says government

    Read more

Business

General Motors CEO steps down

Video by Mark Thompson

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-12-02

US automobile giant General Motors (GM) has announced the resignation of its CEO Fritz Henderson (pictured). GM chairman Ed Whitacre has taken over as interim CEO while the troubled automaker launches an international search for a new president.

AFP - Troubled US auto giant General Motors made a sudden shift of direction Tuesday, ousting chief executive Fritz Henderson and replacing him with company chairman Ed Whitacre on an interim basis.

Whitacre made the announcement at a hastily called news conference at GM's Detroit headquarters after a board meeting where Henderson's resignation as CEO and company president was accepted.

"Fritz has done a remarkable job in leading the company through an unprecedented period of challenge and change," Whitacre said, reading from a statement.

"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."

Whitacre, a former AT&T chairman and CEO who was installed as chairman of a new board controlled in large part by the US government under GM's bankruptcy plan, said daily 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," he said.

"We now need to accelerate our progress toward that goal, which will also mean a return to profitability and repaying the American and Canadian taxpayers as soon as possible."

Henderson took the helm at GM in late March as the auto giant was headed toward bankruptcy and living off massive aid from the US government.

He replaced Rick Wagoner, who was forced out of the job by the administration of President Barack Obama.

A statement from the Obama administration said of the latest action, "This decision was made by the board of directors alone. The administration was not involved in the decision."

The announcement showed fresh turmoil at Detroit's largest automaker, which last month reversed course on a decision to sell its Opel/Vauxhall European operations and then saw a deal to sell its Swedish-based Saab division fall apart.

GM said two weeks ago its suffered a net loss of 1.15 billion dollars in the period since emerging from bankruptcy in July. It said it is making progress toward reviving its fortunes, although it predicted more losses in the coming months.

GM said earlier Tuesday that US sales of cars and other passenger vehicles fell 2.2 percent from November 2008 to 151,427. The downturn followed an annualized rise of 4.0 percent in October.

The company is concentrating on its core brands of Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac while winding down operations for Pontiac and Saturn and reaching a deal to sell the Hummer brand.

The Texas-born Whitacre, an engineer by training, in 1990 became the top executive of Southwestern Bell, one of the "Baby Bells" created from the antitrust breakup in the 1980s of American Telephone & Telegraph.

Through a series of mergers, Southwestern Bell became known as SBC and eventually bought its former parent, AT&T, which had been designated a long-distance calling company after the breakup. The new company then adopted the name AT&T.

Henderson guided GM through bankruptcy with the company emerging July 10 as a new entity backed by the US and Canadian governments.

Once the world's largest corporation, General Motors sold more vehicles than any other automaker from 1931 through 2007, after which it lost the crown to Japan's Toyota.

The US government -- which has provided some 50 billion dollars in financing -- received a 60.8 percent stake in the new firm called General Motors Company.

Canada, which provided 9.1 billion dollars in loans, has an 11.7 percent stake and a United Auto Workers union retiree healthcare trust fund holds 17.5 percent.
 

Date created : 2009-12-02

  • AUTO INDUSTRY

    GM to shed 350 jobs at British Vauxhall plant

    Read more

  • AUTO INDUSTRY

    GM to shed thousands of jobs in European restructuring

    Read more

  • AUTO INDUSTRY

    GM posts $1.15 billion loss, vows to repay US bailout early

    Read more

COMMENT(S)