WASHINGTON -- Robert Ferguson, a former AT&T executive who is General Motors’ chief Washington lobbyist, was promoted and given global responsibilities, replacing John Montford.
Ferguson, 51, had been the automaker’s vice president of government relations since January 2010.
GM said today that Ferguson, who becomes vice president of global public policy, also will be on the company's executive committee and succeed Montford as chairman of the GM Foundation.
Montford, 67, also a former AT&T executive, will become a GM consultant starting May 1, the company said in a statement.
Among the challenges facing Ferguson will be securing satisfactory federal fuel-economy and emissions standards on 2017-25 models and reducing the government's ownership stake in the company.
Ferguson, who will remain based in Washington, also will head GM’s dealings with governments around the world, including China, Europe, South America, the Middle East, Thailand and Australia.
Montford and Ferguson were hired in January 2010 by then-GM interim CEO Ed Whitacre, who had been AT&T's CEO.
At AT&T, Ferguson was president of state legislative and regulatory affairs. Before that he was at SBC Communications prior to its merger with AT&T. He had been responsible for sales and customer care on SBC's enterprise and federal government accounts.
Ferguson and Montford came to GM after the company's top Washington lobbyist, Ken Cole, retired after eight years on the job.
Cole and his counterpart at Chrysler, John Bozzella, left after Congress passed legislation to allow rejected GM and Chrysler dealers to seek reinstatement through arbitration.