Ex-Opel CEO Stracke will join Magna Steyr
Stracke served as GM's head of global vehicle engineering from December 2009 until April 2012.
Former Opel CEO Karl-Friedrich Stracke will join Magna Steyr, a unit of Magna International Inc., on April 1.
Stracke, 56, will be responsible for contract manufacturing in Graz, Austria, and worldwide engineering, Magna said in a statement today. "We are confident that Magna Steyr will benefit from his extensive experience in complete vehicle engineering and manufacturing," the statement said.
Stracke was removed from his post as Opel CEO in July 2012 after about 15 months in the job and given unspecified new duties with Opel parent General Motors. He had worked for GM for more than 30 years and was head of GM global vehicle engineering based in Detroit before taking the post at Opel.
Stracke is credited with being one of the key engineers responsible for overhauling GM's vehicle lineup as it emerged from a government-led bankruptcy in 2009, including the introduction of the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid.
In his new job, Stracke have the title of President Magna Steyr Fahrzeugtechnik and will report to Magna Steyr President Guenther Apfalter.
Magna International and its partner, Russian lender Sberbank, negotiated with GM in 2009 to buy Opel but GM decided to keep the Germany-based division.
On March 1, Karl-Thomas Neumann, a former Volkswagen executive and Continental CEO, became head of Opel. GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky and Thomas Sedran, head of Opel strategy, had been running the brand since Stracke's removal.
A German native, Stracke is a mechanical engineer who joined Opel in 1979. He rose through the engineering ranks to head the carmaker's plant in Bochum, Germany, from 1995 until 1999.
Later he was a director of product development at GM's technical development center in Ruesselsheim, Germany, then held several executive director positions in engineering in Germany and the United States before being appointed head of global vehicle engineering in December 2009.
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