GM puts Girsky in charge of Europe operationsThu, 12 Jul 2012 00:00:00 -0700
General Motors has put vice chairman Steve Girsky in charge of its troubled European operations, replacing Karl-Friedrich Stracke. GM said that Stracke will handle special assignments from chairman Dan Akerson.
GM said Girsky will serve as "acting head" of its European operations while it searches for a replacement executive.
Girsky, a former Wall Street analyst, joined GM in 2009 as a director and adviser to former chairman Ed Whitacre. He was made vice chairman in 2010.
In November 2011, GM dispatched Girsky, 50, to Germany to become head of the Opel supervisory board, charged with turning around the money-losing operation. Opel has lost a total of $3.5 billion over the past three years.
At the same time, Stracke, 56, was named head of GM's European operations, replacing Nick Reilly. Stracke also was chairman of the Opel management board.
In a statement, Akerson said, "Karl Stracke worked tirelessly, under great pressure, to stabilize this business and we look forward to building on his success. We appreciate Karl's many contributions to GM's success."
Opel and other European automakers have been wracked the past year by falling car sales and the costs of too much car-building capacity as European economies struggle.
As part of a turnaround effort, Opel in June said it would close an assembly plant in Bochum, Germany, that builds the Zafira wagon. The brand also unveiled a small crossover, the Mokka, and a forthcoming minicar, the Adam.
By Dale Jewett