How would you feel if you start your new job and people greet you by speculating who will replace you? This is how Thomas Sedran must feel. Only hours after he has been made the new interim CEO of Opel, German media speculates who will be next in his ejection seat in Rüsselsheim. The roster of likely candidates is not encouraging.
- One is Rainer Schmückle, the former Daimler Manager who was replaced by Wolfgang Bernhard in 2010. Schmückle has a reputation for alienating the works council. Two years ago, Schmückle already had refused the offered CEO job at Opel.
- Another is the former Continental CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann. After leaving Conti, he was made head of Volkswagen’s China business. He lost that job during a recent management reshuffle, and was shunted to running Skoda, Volkswagen’s spent fuel pond for formerly hot executives.
- The last option offered by the FAZ is infamous Wendelin Wiedeking. Nuff said.
Reuters offers an unexpected candidate. A banker told Reuters that “the head of the European car parts suppliers association CLEPA, Jean-Marc Gales, could be a strong external candidate to replace Stracke. The Luxembourg native speaks fluent French and German and knows both companies intimately, having worked as Opel sales chief and most recently as head of both the Peugeot and Citroen brands.”
In the meantime, a list of former Opel CEOs is making the rounds in Germany. It won’t make the talent scouting easier.
Die Opel-Chefs seit 1948 im Überblick:
- Edward W. Zdunek 01.11.1948 – 28.02.1961
- Nelson J. Stork 01.03.1961 – 01.03.1966
- L. Ralph Mason 01.03.1966 – 30.09.1970
- Alexander A. Cunningham 01.10.1970 – 31.01.1974
- John P. Mc Cormack 01.02.1974 – 29.02.1976
- James F. Waters, jr. 01.03.1976 – 31.08.1980
- Robert C. Stempel 01.09.1980 – 05.02.1982
- Ferdinand Beickler 05.02.1982 – 31.01.1986
- Dr. Horst W. Herke 01.02.1986 – 31.03.1989
- Louis R. Hughes 01.04.1989 – 03.07.1992
- David J. Herman 04.07.1992 – 18.06.1998
- Cary Cowger 19.06.1998 – 31.10.1998
- Robert W. Hendry 01.11.1998 – 31.03.2001
- Carl-Peter Forster 01.04.2001 – 31.03.2004
- Hans H. Demant 01.04.2004 – 15.01.2009
- David N. (Nick) Reilly 15.01.2009 – 08.04.2011
- Karl-Friedrich Stracke 11.04.2011 – 12.07.2012
- Steve Girsky 12.07.2012 – 17.07.2012
- Thomas Sedran 17.07.2012 – ???