GM Reorganizes Leadership Ranks

Regional Managers Out; New Channel Chiefs Will Be Responsible for Sales as Well as Marketing by Brand

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DETROIT ( -- General Motors Corp. will restructure its North American marketing and regional operations June 1 and has hired former Nissan executive Mark McNabb to fill a major new position.

The structure creates four new positions in Detroit, each responsible for sales and marketing by brand. Mr. McNabb, 47, who resigned unexpectedly from Nissan last month, joins GM on April 21 as vice president of the new Premium Channel in North America overseeing Cadillac, Hummer and Saab. Reporting to him will be three vehicle divisional managers: Jim Taylor at Cadillac, Martin Walsh at Hummer and Steve Shannon of Saab.

As part of the revamp, the auto giant will also eliminate its five regional general managers, one each in California, Georgia, Illinois, New York and Texas, and replace them with four channel general sales managers based at GM's global headquarters in Detroit.

Sales added to duties
Under the current system, general managers of the vehicle divisions focused on national and dealer marketing and did not have direct responsibility for sales. Under the new system, the channel chiefs will be held responsible for vehicle sales for their brands.

GM said it promoted two insiders to VPs to fill two other channels: Ed Peper, 46, the general manager of Chevrolet, will stay at that brand; and Susan Docherty, 45, moves from general manager of the western region to the Buick-Pontiac-GMC channel.

The automaker said Jill Lajdziak, 51, will continue to lead Saturn as general manager and assumes sales responsibility for that channel. Jim Bunnell, 52, who is the general manager of Buick-Pontiac-GMC, will move to executive director of the newly created Channel Support Group, overseeing centralized functions that include auto shows, customer-relationship management and fleet sales.

Meet your new boss
The new VPs, along with Mr. Bunnell and Ms. Lajdziak, will all report to Mark LaNeve, VP-vehicle sales service and marketing in North America.

As part of the reorganization, Brent Dewar, 53, VP-field sales, service and parts in North America, moves June 1 to GM Europe VP-sales, marketing and after-sales.

"These changes have been designed to improve all of our brands, and achieve strongly profitable channels at both a wholesale and retail level," Troy Clarke, president of GM in North America, said in a statement. "We are further streamlining the organization to reduce complexity, align resources to improve the consumer experience and improve bottom-line business results."
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