Saying it was a personal decision to step back and reassess his priorities, Cadillac vice president for global strategic development Don Butler announced his resignation in an email. “As I’ve told others, I just need to take a step back to recalibrate, reassess my priorities,” Butler said. “I know it’s time for a change but I don’t know what’s next. I’m trusting that God will provide.”
Cadillac spokesman David Caldwell said that Cadillac’s head, Bob Ferguson, had asked Butler to stay on, so his departure is not seen as a house cleaning. As Cadillac tries to grow its brand globally, it now faces the departure of three ranking executives. Butler’s resignation follows the firing a few weeks ago of Chase Hawkins, who was in charge of Cadillac’s U.S. sales for unspecified violations of company policy, and comes just before the announced September resignation of Susan Docherty, who is in charge of Cadillac (and Chevrolet) in Europe.
Butler was a bit of a rising star at GM, which promoted him from Cadillac vice president for U.S. marketing to Cadillac vice president of global strategic development just last April. Butler, who started at GM in 1981, left the company once before, in 2009, to work for a software company, but after running into GM North America president Mark Reuss on the escalator at Detroit’s Metropolitan Airport only six weeks later Reuss was able to convince him to return to the automaker. No word on if Reuss is staking out Metro, though a GM source tells TTAC that Butler’s departure likely stems from his reluctance to spend time on the road. With Cadillac looking to grow in China and Europe, Butler would have to spend a significant amount of time travelling – perhaps more than a family man like Butler may want to endure.