GM Reorganizes North American Leadership Again

Docherty relieved of sales as GM ousted from top spot by Ford.

by on Mar.02, 2010

Carlisle worked with Reuss in Asia. Marketing is getting much higher level executives.

General Motors announced today a restructured North American organization with Steve Carlisle 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, where he worked with Mark Reuss, GM North America president.

Susan Docherty is appointed vice president, U.S. marketing. Docherty previously also had sales responsibility. Both Docherty and Carlisle will report directly to Reuss.

The changes come as Ford Motor reported sales of 142,285 units in February, ousting General Motor,  which sold 141,951 units. Toyota is now in a distant third place at 100,000 units. It was the first time that Ford surpassed GM in U.S. monthly sales since 1998.

Reuss said that “GM was not moving forward fast enough or with enough success.”

Divisional managers no longer exist at GM’s four remaining brands.

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

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.

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.

International  Operations

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 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.


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