Opel chief Karl-Friedrich Stracke will replace Nick Reilly as the President of GM Europe. Reilly is retiring after having worked for GM for 37 years but he will stay with the automaker as an adviser until his retirement in March. Stracke will start to head its European operations on Jan. 1 but he will continue to work as the Opel CEO.
GM tried to spin off the struggling Opel and negotiations were well under way but this plan was scrapped in 2009.
Reilly was then named to the head of the business, which reported a loss of $1.6 billion last year. In a statement, GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson said, "Nick Reilly has answered the call for GM at every turn. He added that after going back to Europe, Reilly became successful at turning around the company in “one of the most tumultuous times” in history.
In early 2011, GM named Stracke as the head of Opel but Reilly continued to head the overall European business. Stracke had previously been the vice president of GM Global Vehicle Engineering.
Akerson said that Stracke has “tremendous product experience and a proven track record of teamwork across organizations.” GM Europe estimates that it will be able to break even this year and to be profitable in 2012. UK sister brand Vauxhall is included in GM Europe.