DETROIT -- General Motors Co. today overhauled its U.S. sales and marketing staff for the third time since emerging from bankruptcy, giving North America President Mark Reuss responsibility for sales.
Vice President Susan Docherty, 47, who had been in charge of North American sales and marketing, will run U.S. marketing only. She reports to Reuss, 46. Automotive News reported the planned shake-up Sunday.
The changes end high-profile designer Bryan Nesbitt's stint as head of Cadillac sales and marketing. Nesbitt will take a design position.
Reuss will also change two long-standing GM institutions:
n Brand general managers positions no longer exist.
n The Service and Parts Operations group is now called Customer Care and Aftersales, with its head reporting to Reuss.
Reuss said he initiated the changes to flatten GM's North American organization, which he said was not moving fast enough to increase sales. Making GM North America "a focused standalone business unit" is critical to the overall health of the company, he said in a conference call with reporters today.
"If North America works, lots of good things happen for GM globally," he said.
The move reverses changes made in December after the departure of CEO Fritz Henderson. At that time, Docherty was promoted to vice president for sales, marketing, service and OnStar. She previously was in charge of sales.
When Ed Whitacre became chief executive in December, he said he wanted quick results in sales and marketing. But Reuss said he initiated today's changes after deciding that the GM North America organization was overly complex. He said Whitacre approved the changes and helped select some personnel.
Reuss acknowledged that GM has had serial reorganizations in sales and marketing, but said he expects the current structure to last: “This is the team that is going to be operating North America here for a while. This is it.”
In the conference call, Docherty said that marketing will be streamlined. In the past, she said, “there were a lot of people in the company that were touching the function of marketing.”
She added that she will remain in touch with dealers through dealer councils. The sales and marketing organizations will work closely together on local market advertising, Docherty said.