Opel’s Supervisory Board has named Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann as chairman of the Management Board of Adam Opel AG, effective March 1, 2013. Opel’s parent, General Motors, also named Neumann as president of GM Europe and GM vice president. In effect, Neumann will become a member of GM's Executive Committee and is expected to have a vital role in the carmaker’s global leadership. Steve Girsky, chairman of the Opel Supervisory Board, remarked that Neumann boasts of having in-depth knowledge of the automotive industry as well as a proven track record in growing business in a profitable way. Girsky quipped that Neumann will strengthen Opel’s Management Board significantly and will be a key in leading the German carmaker on its recovery and become one of the Europe's most successful. Dan Akerson, GM chairman and chief executive, noted that since Opel is vital to GM’s global success, Neumann’s appointment ensures that the carmaker has the “best possible leadership” in place as it continues driving toward profitability and growth in Europe.
Neumann expressed excitement in leading a company that boasts of a rich German heritage and strong product portfolio. He said that while he will be taking a challenging job, he could turn around Opel with the help of his leadership team and employees.
Prior to joining Opel, Neumann was the chief executive and vice president of Volkswagen Group China, working in Beijing from September 2010 to August 2012. He joined the Volkswagen Group in 1999 as chief of Group Research and director of Electronic Strategy. He was then appointed in December 2009 as the group’s chief officer for Electric Traction.