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General Motors names Docherty as LaNeve's replacement

Thu, 08 Oct 2009

General Motors has named Susan Docherty its new vice president of U.S. sales, replacing Mark LaNeve, according to CEO Fritz Henderson.

“She brings a fresh perspective to the job and she has an extraordinarily high level of energy,” Henderson said in an interview with Automotive News.

LaNeve, 50, is resigning effective Oct. 15 to accept a job outside the auto industry.

Docherty, 46, is currently general manager of Buick-GMC. That job will remain open for the time being, Henderson said.

Docherty assumes the new post on Oct. 16. She will also become a member of GM's executive committee.

Henderson said whoever replaced LaNeve needed to come from inside GM because the dealership network and sales role is complicated and would be difficult for an outsider to learn. He described Docherty as a very capable.

The CEO said: “I'd be very nervous about putting someone into the sales function who didn't understand how it worked at the time we're going through a dealer restructuring like we're doing.”

LaNeve has served as head of sales since March 2005.

“Mark's done a heck of a job in a very difficult environment going through this,” Henderson said. “I give him enormous credit.”

Docherty was named head of Buick-Pontiac-GMC in June 2008. Before that she was regional general manager for GM's Western Region, a job she began in 2006. There she oversaw sales, service, distribution, marketing and parts for more than 1,000 dealers in 16 states.

A native of Canada, Docherty ran Hummer before heading up GM's Western Region.

By Jamie LaReau- Automotive News