By on February 28, 2019

Image: GM

A familiar face in General Motors’ executive ranks is heading into retirement, the company has announced. Alan S. Batey, president of GM’s North American operations, plans to retire effective April 1st — four decades after joining the automaker.

Stepping into Batey’s shoes, albeit with a different title, is GM International President Barry Engle, a relative newcomer to the company.

Batey’s time with GM began in 1979, with the UK native climbing the ranks to his current position in 2014. GM handed him the global Chevrolet portfolio in 2013.

As for Engle, the 55-year-old exec joined the company in 2015 after 13 years spent at Ford and stints at a number of other companies. His first role saw him take charge of GM’s South American operations, with his purview expanding to markets outside North America and China a year later.

“As our company continues to streamline operations, simplify our systems and refine our global go-to-market strategies, I see Barry as the perfect leader to continue our transformation in each of these markets,” said GM CEO Mary Barra in a statement. “Alan and his team have achieved record financial performance and created a customer-focused foundation, and we greatly appreciate what he has contributed to GM over his almost 40 years of service across the globe.”

Engle won’t just get a new role, but a new title. His letterhead will inform everyone of the new position of “executive vice president and president, the Americas.”

There’s more going on in GM’s upper echelon than just the Batey-Engle swap, too. Julian Blissett, currently GM-SAIC executive vice president in China, was named senior vice president, International Operations, overseeing the automaker’s operation outside the Americas and China. Meanwhile, Alicia Boler Davis, 49, executive vice president, global manufacturing, announced she is leaving the company “to pursue other opportunities.” Davis’ exit date coincides with Batey’s.

Gerald Johnson, GM’s vice president of North American manufacturing and labor relations, will take over in Davis’ role.

Speaking to Automotive News, a GM spokesperson said the departures have nothing to do with the company’s plan to cull its executive roster by 25 percent.

[Image: General Motors]

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19 Comments on “GM North America Prez Alan Batey Hangs Up His Boots...”

  • avatar

    GM had 46% US market share in 1978
    GM had about 17% US market share in 2018

    now that’s shrinkage

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      “That’s how we planned it. More choices are good for the market, and they provide vigorous competition to help sharpen our customer focus and product offerings.”

    • 0 avatar

      IIRC, GM lost roughly 1 point of market share per year between 1978 and 2012, and hasn’t moved much since. The decline was pretty steady, not the product of a few bad years.

      So, GM has apparently stabilized its market position since 2012, but hasn’t made any gains. Moreover, it still suffers from 2 of the problems that plagued it during its decline – an undistinguished product line and an insular management structure – which don’t bode well for its future.

  • avatar

    “GM spokesperson said the departures have nothing to do with the company’s plan to cull its executive roster by 25 percent.”

    He added, “They were just a bonus to our job elimination program”.

  • avatar

    Apparently he’s taken a management position in Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton office.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    I’d love to be a fly in the wall for an auto exec retirement party.
    It’s easy to grin When your ship comes in And you’ve got the stock market beat. But the man worthwhile, Is the man who can smile, When his shorts are too tight in the seat”

  • avatar

    I can’t speak to Batey, but I saw the writing on the wall with Alicia Boler-Davis when they blew out the GM Mobile Dev team and many other Connected Vehicle devs/engineers over the last month, who reported up a level or two to her. A loss of power and a shift away from pushing the technology that she owned is plenty of reason to leave and find another challenge. She enjoyed a great run at GM!

  • avatar

    “executive vice president and president, the Americas…”

    Americas??? But the Autoextremist told me there’s only one “America”… You mean there is a world outside the USA?

  • avatar

    Barra is steering GM into the iceberg and now executives are jumping ship.

    GM had 28% of the market in 1998. GM is losing an average of .8% market share a year. Maybe, GM will round off at 15% market share.

  • avatar

    Such a waste. All this decay at GM.

    But they deserve every lost point of market share. They really do. So many bad decisions.
    Angry appliance Caddy styling. AND Sticking with it for 20 years.
    Moving Caddy to NYC.
    Caddy lack of CUV s for a decade. (then once they had the XT5 it took FOREVER for 1 size smaller and one size bigger)
    Full Bore Rush to EV and autonomy at the expense of other things.
    New camaro that looks like the old camaro.
    New Silverado that looks WORSE than the old one which looked like the previous generation.
    Craptastic interiors. Like lutz says, it cost $100-200 extra for a fantastic interior.
    First Class smash down of the suppliers and then steal their design and cost it with other suppliers.
    Price discounts taken even tho GM deliveries dont make the price break volume level. Net 30 became net 90.
    I could go on……..

    • 0 avatar

      You could make a several thousand page book. I had family that worked at Collins & Aikman, a company that supplied the carpet in my H2 and several other vehicles, a company that was over 100 years old that GM screwed over.

    • 0 avatar


      Speaking of Bob Lutz, having read some of his books and lived with the previous model, I can literally do a walkaround of my son’s recently-acquired 2006 Malibu and point out the Lutzian interior and exterior revisions – like a modern-day archaeology study…

      Agreed that GM leadership lost the plot long ago – deeply disappointing.

  • avatar

    “Hangs Up His Boots”

    I thought that was an awkward metaphor so I searched and dang if there ain’t boot hangers for people’s closets.

    That’s kind of gross.

  • avatar

    under international standards this qualifies as disaster relief.

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