DETROIT -- General Motors Co.'s top executive in charge of developing batteries for the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid is leaving to take a position with an unnamed startup battery company in California.
Denise Gray, 46, global director of rechargeable energy storage systems, will step down March 5 after more than three years in the post.
This was “an opportunity that I could just not resist,” Gray said Wednesday in a phone interview. “The good thing is I will be in the energy, advanced-battery area that I really truly believe has a promising future.”
Gray added that she is “a strong supporter of the Volt and what GM is doing” but that she will be cheering from “a different seat.”
Ronn Jamieson, director of global battery systems engineering, will temporarily assume reporting responsibilities for Gray's staff. Bill Wallace, manager of the Volt Battery System Engineering Group, will take on technical and program management responsibilities.
The Volt, GM's flagship for a fuel-saving future, is designed to travel 40 miles on its battery before the gasoline engine starts. The vehicle will roll out slowly, starting in California. Production is targeted at 8,000 to 10,000 in the first full year. GM plans to ramp up to 50,000 to 60,000 annually.