Co. appoints Nick Reilly CEO of Adam Opel GmbH, part of a larger management restructuring that collapses GM Europe into the German auto maker.
The move also would eliminate GM Europe, as Reilly suggested at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
“It’s a different business, so we don’t need a GM Europe super structure,” Reilly told journalists during a roundtable discussion earlier this week.
Collapsing management of GM Europe into Opel also puts the region's Zurich headquarters in question. GM said last month it would move GM Europe to Russelsheim, but then scrapped the idea, choosing to centralize only Opel and Vauxhall in the southwestern German city.
Russelsheim serves as GM's engineering hub in Europe and as headquarters for Opel. With Opel now calling the shots on the continent, it would seem to leave little reason for keeping the Zurich site.
As CEO of Opel, Reilly assumes responsibility for worldwide activities of the Opel brand, as well as its U.K. sister, Vauxhall. As CEO, he steps down from the Opel Supervisory Board.
Other changes to the Opel management board include assigning Mark James to chief financial officer from the same position at GM Daewoo Auto & Technology in Korea. James replaces Marco Molinari, who left Opel Dec. 1to pursue other interests.
Rita Forst takes responsibility for Opel engineering, formerly working as executive director-vehicle systems and integration at the International Technical Development Center at Opel in Russelsheim.
Reinald Hoben, Holger Kimmes, Tom McMillen and Alain Visser remain as members of the management board.
Hans Demant, most recently managing director of Opel and vice president-engineering at GM Europe, shifts to vice president-global intellectual property rights at GM.
GM also shakes up the Opel supervisory board, as Uwe Loos, Gunter Michels and Bernd Pierburg retire. New additions include:
- Stephen Girsky, senior adviser to GM Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre, and member of the GM board of directors.
- Michael P. Millikin, GM vice president and general counsel.
- Bill Parfitt, chairman, GM United Kingdom Ltd.
- Karl-Friedrich Stracke, GM vice president-global engineering.
GM moved Reilly, formerly head of auto maker’s international operations, to CEO of GM Europe last month following the departure of longtime CEO Carl-Peter Forster.
GM spent most of last year trying unsuccessfully to unload struggling Opel/Vauxhall to Canadian parts makerInternational Inc. At the 11th hour, GM’s new board of directors decided it would restructure Opel itself, citing improving business conditions.
However, Opel continues to seek financial support for its restructuring from various European Union governments. Opel needs €3.3 billion ($5 billion) to fund its restructuring, according to a regulatory filing today from GM.
Since November, GM has provided €1.25 billion ($1.83 billion) in support to Opel, the filings says. About half of that money was used to repay bridge loans made last year from the German government to Opel, while the remainder served as reimbursement for Opel engineering work for GM’s global operations.