Phil Murtaugh is chairman of GM China Group, a position he assumed in June. Based in Shanghai, Murtaugh directs operations in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
The top job at GM China came as a result of Murtaugh's work as executive vice president of Shanghai General Motors. He was GM's lead negotiator in the launch of Shanghai GM, the $1.5 billion joint venture with Shanghai Auto Industry Corp.
China is not Murtaugh's first foreign assignment. Before 1996, he was president of IBC in Luton, England. Before that, Murtaugh was director of manufacturing for GM Overseas Corp.-Japan, where he worked closely with Isuzu Motors Ltd.
Murtaugh knows the importance of good relationships with the Chinese. Chen Hong, president of Shanghai GM, and Hu Maoyuan, president of Shanghai Auto Industry Corp., are among two of his closest associates, according to Shanghai GM officials. Though he does not speak Mandarin Chinese, Murtaugh understands a lot of conversational Chinese.
Murtaugh studied at GMI and Stanford University, getting a degree in industrial management. He was manager of GM's assembly plant in Wilmington, Delaware, before taking the assignment in Japan.
The 46-year-old executive is in his 28th year with General Motors. He lives with his wife in Shanghai and has four children.
In June, he succeeded Larry Zahner as chairman of the China Group, leaving his post as executive vice president of Shanghai GM.
Murtaugh was succeeded by Chris Gubbey, former manufacturing director at Vauxhall's Luton, England, plant. Murtaugh also serves on GM's Asia Pacific Strategy Board.