Motor Trend reports that former PT Cruiser stylist Brian Nesbitt has been relieved of his duties as the head of Cadillac, ending GM’s post-bankruptcy experiment of putting a stylist in charge of an entire division. But MT figures that Nesbitt’s ouster isn’t as simple as a failure to perform; according to their sources, the firing was political.
The shakeup has major implications for Bob Lutz’s future at GM. He hired Nesbitt away from Chrysler earlier last decade and made sure there was a place for the PT Cruiser designer at post-bankruptcy GM. Nesbitt’s departure would indicate Lutz’s role as one of three GM vice chairmen has diminished to almost nothing… Clearly, [recently-promoted sales boss and President of North American ops Mark Reuss] is putting his own team together, and it doesn’t include Nesbitt, who was posed as the aesthetic face of the Cadillac luxury division.
The reason I am giving it active consideration this time is because I honestly feel I can look back with satisfaction and say the team I was privileged to lead in product development has actually achieved more than what I would have hoped for
As we took a look at our available capital and engineering resources, we decided that therer were things that were more urgent than doing a Cadillac version of the Voltec architecture. We had originally had a time slot for the Converj and that has been put on hold
Does something about Lutz’s use of the first-person plural seem a bit odd? It’s one easy way to conceal the fact that MaxBob and Ed “Rattler” Whitacre are at odds on a number of fronts. Would Mr Lutz like to comment on this rift?
Ed Whitacre is not interested in organizational stability, Ed Whitacre is interested in results. If it takes a certain amount of upheaval to get the right people in the positions than that is what he is going to do.
If that doesn’t suggest that Lutz is on his way out, what would? It looks like Docherty, Nesbitt and Lutz are on the decline, while Reuss and Steve Girsky are exercising ever more control as Ed Whitacre’s hatchet men. GM will be making an announcement about its latest shakeup sometime this week, and we’ll update you with the latest on this palace intrigue as it plays out.