GM’s executive shuffle

Tess Vigeland May 31, 2006


MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: Troy Clarke used to be President of GM’s Asia division. Now he’s been picked to head the company’s North American region. Marketplace’s Tess Vigeland tells us about the significance of the switch.

TESS VIGELAND: The move is part of GM’s ongoing corporate restructuring in the wake of poor financial performance. Last quarter the company posted its first profit since 2004.

But even that profit was mostly due to a change in how GM accounts for the healthcare costs of future retirees. It’s still losing money making cars.

Stephen Szakaly of the Center for Automotive Research says it makes sense that the company is bringing in a leader with a good track record in Asia.

STEPHEN SZAKALY:“It’s very interesting that Mr. Clarke is coming from one of the markets where GM is really concentrating its efforts, of course includes China. GM has made a lot of gains there and had a lot of success there and it has also had a lot of success in Korea. Might be that GM is trying to transfer some of that success and some of that insight into North America where it is clearly struggling.”

GM also announced that more than 20,000 union workers have said yes to early retirement and buyout offers, a key part of the carmaker’s efforts to cut costs.

I’m Tess Vigeland for Marketplace.

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