De Molina steps down as GMAC CEO

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There is a new man at the helm of GMAC Financial Services after CEO Alvaro de Molina stepped down yesterday.

The surprise departure comes just as the auto lender works its way through negotiations with the U.S. government concerning another injection of taxpayer dollars for the ailing GM financial arm.

News reports suggest De Molina was asked by the GMAC board of directors to step down. Current GMAC director Michael Carpenter is said to be taking over as CEO and said during an interview that the government did not play a role in pressuring for De Molina’s resignation.

“To the contrary, the board reached its own conclusions,” Carpenter said. “As the board looked forward, it decided that it really wanted some more strategic skills. It wanted more turnaround skills, more operations skills. So that is, in short, the basis I believe for a change.”

De Molina and GMAC were in the middle of discussions with the U.S. Treasury Department over additional taxpayer aid. GMAC is instrumental to the operations of automakers General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC, but says its finances have been hit hard by bad loans made during the housing boom.
 
So far GMAC has received US$12.5 billon in aid. Carpenter told The Associated Press that it would need an additional US$5.6 billion.

De Molina's reign as CEO lasted less than two years. In a statement made available to the media, he said it was a “good time for me to move on to my next chapter.”

“I came to GMAC thinking that it was a short-term assignment working through a liquidity crisis,” the statement continued. “That crisis lasted two years.”

- With files from The Canadian Press and The Associated Press