Farewell Fritz


General Motors Chairman Ed Whitacre Jr. has been announced as the replacement for the outgoing CEO Frederick Henderson, who tenured his resignation late yesterday.

Henderson’s tenure as CEO lasted just eight turbulent months that saw the automaker enter bankruptcy protection in the U.S., axe a brand and unsuccessfully sell two other ones all while posting international sales losses and accepting federal bailout cash.

At a Detroit news conference yesterday, Whitacre read a statement thanking Henderson for his work but noted that restructuring would now be sped up and government paybacks would commence.
“Fritz has done a remarkable job in leading the company through an unprecedented period of challenge and change,” he said at the conference. “While momentum has been building over the past several months, all involved agree that changes needed to be made.”

Henderson, 51, succeeded Rick Wagoner in late March. He spent the first few months of his new job working with the government to reorganize the automaker outside of bankruptcy, though that step was eventually taken in June.

During the last eight months, he had tried to downsize the company once known as the world’s largest automaker but discontinuing the Pontiac brand, culling hundreds of dealers from the Canadian and U.S. network and initiating sales for Saab, Opel, Saturn and Hummer.

Three of those sales have failed and the Hummer deal is tenuous at best.

There is no word yet on what Henderson’s plans to do next.