General Motors Co. CEO Mary Barra on Monday announced that both the head of human resources and head of communications are leaving the company as the company faces a growing crisis over its handling of a recall of 2.6 million vehicles linked to ignition switch defects.
The automaker named John J. Quattrone as senior vice president of global human resources. Quattrone, currently executive director of human resources for GMs global product development, purchasing and supply chain organization, succeeds Melissa A. Howell, who is leaving GM.
GM also announced that Selim Bingol, senior vice president of global communications and public policy, is leaving the company. Quattrones appointment, as well as Howells and Bingols departures, are effective immediately. GMs Cadillac chief Bob Ferguson has been acting as the companys top lobbyist in recent weeks a job he held previously and is expected to return to the role permanently.
Barra told GM leaders about the moves on a 10 a.m. conference call Monday, saying the departures were not linked to the recall of 2.59 million vehicles for ignition switch defects. Bingol held his own call with PR staff and said he would be rooting for the company as he praised the staff for putting points on the board over the last few years.
Officials said the moves were not linked to the recall crisis, but rather moves madeby Barra. She took overas company chief in mid-January, and its not unusual for new CEOs to make executive moves over time. Barra, formerly the head of global product development, worked with Quattrone, who has a broad background. Barra also previously served as head of the companys global human resources operation.
People briefed on the matter said Barra notified Bingol and Howell last week of her decision to make the changes. Rumors started to leak Friday that changes were in the works.
Barra already had made some changes to her leadership team. In January she named Jim DeLuca to take over as executive vice president of the company’s global manufacturing operations to replace a retiring Tim Lee. Last month, GM also announced it had named a new vice president and treasurer, Niharika Taskar Ramdev to replace Jim Davlin who chose to leave the company.
Quattrone is a native of Syracuse, N.Y., and began his GM career in 1975 at the Fisher Body Syracuse Plant. Since then he has held various positions in human resources and labor relations at GM. Quattrone was appointed general director of human resources for North America Vehicle Sales, Service and Marketing in September 1996. He was appointed GM North Americas vice president of human resources in 2001 and was GM Powertrains vice president of human resources prior to his current assignment.
John brings to the job a deep and rich breadth of experience across all levels of the enterprise, said Barra in a statement. This background is invaluable as we create lasting change that puts the customer at the center of how we work and how we measure ourselves going forward.
Quattrone received his bachelors degree from Le Moyne College and earned a masters degree from West Virginia University. Quattrone is on the board of directors of American Society of Employers and previously was on the board of directors of Health Grades Inc.
Barra praised Howells contribution at a key time for the company. Through Melissas passion, the values that make up todays GM are now becoming a central part of how we develop and guide our employees around the world, Barra said in a statement. We are deeply grateful for her dedication to GM and all that she did to help build a stronger HR function to support our people and business.
Howell joined GM in 1990. She was named senior vice president of global human resources in February 2013 after working as the automakers executive director of human resources for GMs North American operations.
Bingol was senior vice president for corporate communications at telecom giant AT&T before joining GM in 2010 as senior vice president of global communications. He was hired by then GM CEO Ed Whitacre, who was Bingols boss at AT&T. Global public policy responsibilities were added to Bingols portfolio in October 2012.
We appreciate Selims service and for his helping tell the GM story during one of the most exciting periods in the companys history, Barra said in a statement.
A successor to Bingol will be named at a later date. Randy Arickx, GMs executive director of communications and investor relations, will replace Bingol on an acting basis. GM is expected to name a new PR chief from outside the company.
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Barra: Head of human resources, communications leaving GM
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