Cadillac’s target of posting a 35-percent surge in sales in the United States this year and expanding its operations overseas hit a major snag after Don Butler resigned last week from his post as General Motors’ vice president of global strategic development. Butler told Automotive News in an e-mail that his resignation from GM was "purely a personal decision."
He remarked GM encouraged him to stay, but he needs “to take a step back and focus on the right priorities,” adding that it was just “time for a change in [his] path." Butler’s exit from GM came less than a month after Chase Hawkins, Cadillac's top US sales executive, was ousted from his post. GM has said that Hawkins’ dismissal was due to his violations of company policy.
David Caldwell, a spokesman for GM, said that the carmaker likely will name Hawkins' replacement soon, but didn’t give a time frame for naming Butler’s.
Both Hawkins and Butler reported to Bob Ferguson, president of global Cadillac, since October. Cadillac posted a 30-percent hike in sales in the US in the first seven months of 2013, second only to Porsche's 31 percent.
Cadillac is planning to launch 10 new or redesigned vehicles by mid-2015 and is aiming to more than triple its sales in China by that year to 100,000 units. GM is also intending to jump-start Cadillac in Europe. Butler joined GM as a co-op student in 1981 and became one of Cadillac's highest-profile executives during its return in 2009. He was the brand’s top marketing executive from March 2010 to April 2013. [source: automotive news - sub. required]