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Yet Another GM Shake-Up: Stephens Named Global Tech Chief

Mary Barra chosen as new product czar.

by on Jan.20, 2011

Another reason to celebrate? Newly-promoted Tom Stephens shown here last week with the Car of the Year trophy for Chevy Volt.

In ballpark lingo, it helps to have a scorecard to keep up with the players, as General Motors continues to shake up its top management ranks.

Just days after ousting the head of OnStar and realigning its marketing management team, GM has appointed product development chief Tom Stephens its new Chief Technology Officer, a job that will have the veteran exec overseeing everything from in-car infotainment to advanced battery propulsion systems.

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To fill Stephens old role, GM is appointing its first-ever woman “car czar.”  As global vice president of product development, Mary Barra will oversee design, engineering, program management – and, critically, quality improvement efforts – for the automaker’s 11 worldwide brands.

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OnStar Ousts Preuss; Among Other GM Changes

Perry named U.S marketing chief.

by on Jan.18, 2011

Former OnStar President Chris Preuss during a presentation at CES, in Las Vegas, earlier this month.

General Motors launched another round of executive changes, ousting the head of OnStar and placing a new executive in charge of marketing the company’s four “core” brands in North America.

Linda Marshall has been appointed president of OnStar, effective February 1, 2011.  Marshall succeeds J. Christopher Preuss, who has “elected to leave the company” to launch a communications consultancy practice, GM said Tuesday.

“As we continue to evolve the OnStar brand and bring new features to our customers, we believe Linda’s deep experience can take the brand and platform to the next level,” said Stephen J. Girsky, vice chairman, corporate strategy and business development.

The shake-up at the telecommunications subsidiary comes as OnStar begins a big push to expand its customer base – among other things by offering an aftermarket mirror, which it will sell through Best Buy, that owners of non-GM vehicles can use to subscribe to the service.  Preuss launched that new product and outlined other OnStar plans, earlier this month, at the Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas.

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