DETROIT -- The changes at General Motors keep coming.
Debra Kelly-Ennis, general manager of Saab Cars USA, has left GM and accepted a position with Diageo North America, a premium drink business.
Jay Spenchian, Cadillac's marketing director since 2004, will become general manager of Saab.
The moves are effective Friday, April 1, and come less than two weeks after job changes at Buick-Pontiac-GMC and other moves to reorganize and cancel product programs.
Spenchian, 46, takes over Saab after pushing Cadillac's CTS, STS and SRX into the premium market. Spenchian joined GM in 1998 and has held a variety of positions with Cadillac, including marketing director for the CTS, XLR and SRX, as well as brand manager of the Escalade.
"We believe (Spenchian) is the right person to lead Saab during its most aggressive vehicle development program in its history," said Mark LaNeve, GM North America vice president of vehicle sales service and marketing.
News of the change seemed to catch dealers off guard. Dealers were notified in a conference call Thursday morning.
"It was pretty straightforward and was termed an amicable divorce," said Christopher Cerrina, head of the International Dealer Council for Saab and president of Parkfield Motors, Inc. in Bergenfield, N.J. "I was surprised."
Kelly-Ennis joined GM in 1998 following a career in sales and management with RJR/Nabisco and various other non-automotive companies.
Diageo manages a collection of alcohol brands across spirits, wines, and beer categories. The brands include Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Smirnoff, J&B, Baileys, Cuervo, Tanqueray, Captain Morgan, Crown Royal, Beaulieu Vineyard and Sterling Vineyards wines.
Staff reporter Jamie LaReau contributed to this report.
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