General Motors Co.’s Ray Young could continue as the auto maker’s chief financial officer after he assumes the post of vice president-international operations on Feb. 1, 2010.
GM is looking to replace Young, 47. But Feb. 1 does not represent “a hard stop” to his CFO duties, which he assumed 21 months ago, Ward’s is told.
The transition to Young’s successor “will ultimately depend on when the right candidate is identified and hired,” says a source familiar with the situation.
The uncertainty parallels the rapid change within GM’s ranks since Chairman Ed Whitacre assumed the CEO’s job following Fritz Henderson’s ouster 10 days ago. Since then, the auto maker has seen Mark Reuss and Nick Reilly take charge of GM North America and GM Europe, respectively, while sales chief Susan Docherty added responsibility for marketing, relieving Vice Chairman Bob Lutz.
Leadership also has changed for the Chevrolet and Buick-GMC channels.
Young’s new job charges him with international operating responsibilities and other duties “that will be further clarified in the near term,” GM says.
“Ray has been instrumental in leading the company through an extraordinarily complex bankruptcy and subsequent actions taken to reshape GM’s business,” Whitacre says in a statement. “Looking ahead at the needs of our business, it has become clear that Ray’s vast global experience and financial expertise will be essential in managing the challenges and dynamics of growing our international business.”
Young had been targeted for replacement during Henderson’s tenure as GM’s top executive. Henderson preceded Young.
In a story penned for Forbes magazine, Steven Rattner, a former member of the Obama Admin.’s auto industry taskforce, said his investigation of GM encountered “perhaps the weakest finance operation any of us had ever seen in a major company.”
Meanwhile, Young enters his new job backed by numerous years of international experience. From 1993 to 1996, he was GM’s European regional treasurer based in Belgium, and in 1998, he joined Suzuki Motor Co. Ltd. in Japan, ultimately serving as a member of GM’s Asia Pacific Strategy Board as GM and Suzuki expanded their collaboration.
In 2004, he relocated to Brazil, where he served as president and managing director-GM do Brasil and Mercosur Operations.