By on September 12, 2012

GM’s China boss Kevin Wale will retire his job on October 31, GM says. His will be replaced by Bob Socia, GM’s VP of Global Purchasing and Supply Chain.

57 year old Wale “wants to eat, drink, sleep and play golf like normal people,” GM spokeswoman Lori Arpin told Reuters in Shanghai.

Wale headed GM China since 2005 and presided over tumultuous times. On his watch, GM’s China sales grew from 560,000 units in 2005 to 2.5 million units in 2011. The China business and the financial help of joint venture partner SAIC helped GM through the bad times of 2009 and 2010. China is GM’s largest market, before the U.S.

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