Shakeup At Opel Continues, 2 More Execs ReplacedJuly 18th, 2012 10:44 am Associated Press
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The shake-up at General Motors’ Opel subsidiary in Europe gathered speed Wednesday as two more top executives left their posts.
Opel announced Wednesday that Chief Financial Officer Mark James will be replaced by Michael Lohscheller, the CFO of Volkswagen’s US business.
The carmaker also announced research and development head Rita Forst is resigning from her post. Another Opel executive, Michael Ableson, is taking over.
The changes follow the sudden resignation last week of Opel chief executive Karl-Friedrich Stracke just two weeks after he presented a turnaround plan. That move was taken as a sign of GM’s impatience with the effort to return lossmaking Opel to profit.
Steve Girsky, chairman of Opel’s board of directors and the acting head of GM Europe, said that the new executives “will further accelerate the plan to revitalize Opel.”
The news comes a day after the company said Thomas Sedran, Opel’s top strategy executive, would take over Stracke’s post at Opel on a temporary basis while the company looks for a successor.
New CFO Lohscheller, 43, has been executive vice-president and CFO at Volkswagen Group of America. Opel said he had led a successful turnaround there over the past four years. He has also worked at Daimler AG and Mitsubish Motors Europe. The company did not specify where outgoing CFO James was going and said only that “details over his professional future will be announced at a future time.”
New research and development head Ableson, 50, has been an executive focusing on compact cars at the company’s Ruesselsheim base. The company said Forst, a GM veteran who started with Opel in 1977, had resigned her position on the company’s management board but did not further specify her plans.