Fritz Henderson is stepping down as chief executive at US car giant General Motors, the company has announced and GM’s chairman of the board, Ed Whitacre Jr, will serve as an interim replacement.
The news came minutes after the end of a GM board meeting to discuss the fate of its Swedish car brand Saab.
GM said that due to the emergence of new potential buyers it would evaluate bids for carmaker Saab by the end of December but if it did not find a “suitable arrangement” it would then “wind down” Saab.
In a statement, Ed Whitacre commended what he described as Mr Henderson’s “remarkable job in leading the company through an unprecedented period of challenge and change”.
“While momentum has been building over the past several months, all involved agree that changes needed to be made,” the statement continued.
He assured GM’s employees, dealers, suppliers, union partners and customers that it would be business as usual with an emphasis on “a return to profitability and repaying the American and Canadian tax payers as soon as possible”.
He said he looked forward to working with the entire GM team “as we now begin the next chapter of this great company”.
The White House denied any involvement in the resignation. “This decision was made by the Board of Directors alone. The administration was not involved in the decision,” a White House spokeswoman said.
In March, Fritz Henderson replaced the then chief executive, Rick Wagoner, who was ordered to step down by US President Barack Obama.
Earlier on Tuesday, GM released information that US sales figures for its cars and other passenger vehicles fell 2.2% from November 2008 to 151,427.
Source: BBC News