Starting January 1, General Motors Co.'s government relations activities have been handled by two former AT&T executives that the company has appointed for the task.
John Montford will be a senior adviser to GM Chairman Ed Whitacre Jr., who formerly headed AT&T; while Robert Ferguson will be GM's vice president of government relations.
Montford, 66 years old, will have overall responsibility for government relations and global public policy. Montford had been senior vice president for state legislative affairs for AT&T before the move to GM.
Before that, he was president of external affairs for Southwestern Bell until its merger with AT&T and he also served 14 years in the Texas Senate and was Texas Tech University's first chancellor.
Supporting Montford are Ferguson and Michael Robinson, the current vice president of environment, energy and safety policy. Ken Cole, 62 years old, currently GM's vice president of government relations and public policy, will serve as adviser until he retires next year.
In a statement, Whitacre described Montford and Ferguson to be "proven professionals" who have both worked in an "environment of intense regulatory and political complexity."
Whitacre added that the duo have his "deep trust and respect" as he has worked with them through several issues in the last few years.