The Opel mess claims another victim. “Opel’s Karl-Friedrich Stracke stepped down from his position as chief executive of the embattled carmaker to take on “special assignments”, where he will report to the Chairman and CEO of parent General Motors,” Reuters says.
“GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky, currently Chairman of the Opel Supervisory Board, will serve as acting head of GM’s European operations as the company searches for a replacement. The supervisory board of Adam Opel AG will be convened soon to appoint an interim chairman of the management board,” GM says in a statement.
That “special assignment” job usually means that the man keeps office, secretary, car and face. Engineer Stracke is a GM lifer. His assignment to rescue Opel was widely seen as a mission impossible.
Analysts interviewed by Reuters say that “GM appeared to be panicking as the change comes so soon after a turnaround plan for the struggling Opel was approved and a replacement was not named. ”
“The timing of today’s announcement bodes poorly for the condition of GM’s European business,” Jefferies analyst Peter Nesvold said in a research note.