The C-Suites of two major auto makers are unlikely to change in the near future, despite rumors suggesting that both Ferdinand Piech and Alan Mulally are set to depart both VW and Ford respectively.
GM has announced its new North American organizational shuffle [full release available here], and have included the following slides to help explain some of the changes. The clear winner: President of NA operations, Mark Reuss, who had this to say:
It’s become extremely clear to me since taking this role that there is a better way to structure this organization. The premise of the structure is simple — a clearer marketing focus to sell more vehicles, and freeing our sales and service experts to focus on customers and dealers. In order to be successful in North America, we need the right mix of product, people and structure. We’ve worked with a small group of executives to align this model and appoint the best candidates for each job.
Notice how he doesn’t call the new structure a simplification. As the following slides show, there’s nothing simple about the structure changes. In fact, the only thing that’s certain about this latest GM reshuffle is that wrestling with GM’s bureaucracy still takes up as much time for top managers as actually working on products, planning, outreach and other core business activities.
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.