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Henderson Resigns as General Motors CEO

December 1, 2009
Related Topics: Global Business Issues, Compensation Design and Communication, Latest News

Fritz Henderson, CEO of General Motors Co. since March, resigned Tuesday, December 1, chairman Edward Whitacre said.

Whitacre will succeed Henderson on an interim basis while a search for a new president and CEO starts immediately, Whitacre said at a press conference.

Henderson guided GM through the automaker’s 39-day bankruptcy in June and July after replacing the ousted Rick Wagoner in late March.

The automaker, which hasn’t posted an annual profit since 2004, is desperately trying to rebound from 2009’s sales collapse.

In a press release, Whitacre stated: “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,” Whitacre continued, “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"

Filed by Automotive News, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail

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