General Motors Co. has appointed Robert Ferguson to be its vice president of global public policy, replacing John Montford who had served as VP of government relations since January 2010. Ferguson, who has worked as GM’s chief Washington lobbyist, was formerly an AT&T executive. With this promotion, Ferguson will have global responsibilities.
Ferguson will also be on GM’s executive committee and he will also replace Montford as chairman of the GM Foundation.
Beginning May 1, Montford will work as a GM consultant. Montford had also come from AT&T. Ferguson, who will continue to be based in Washington, has got a lot on his plate as he will have to secure satisfactory federal fuel-economy and emissions standards on 2017-25 models. He will also have to work at decreasing the government's ownership stake in GM.
Ferguson will also handle GM’s dealings with governments throughout the globe, such as China, Europe, South America, the Middle East, Thailand and Australia.
Then-GM interim CEO Ed Whitacre, who was formerly the CEO of AT&T, hired Montford and Ferguson in January 2010. Ferguson was AT&T’s president of state legislative and regulatory affairs. Before their merger, Ferguson had worked at SBC Communications where he handled sales and customer care on SBC's enterprise and federal government accounts.
Ferguson and Montford arrived at GM after its top Washington lobbyist, Ken Cole, retired after having had the job for eight years. Cole and John Bozzella, his counterpart at Chrysler, departed after Congress approved a law that allows rejected GM and Chrysler dealers to go into arbitration to get reinstated.