Report: GM To Name Wagoner CEO
DETROIT (AP) _ General Motors Corp. will name G. Richard Wagoner Jr. chief executive officer on Wednesday, succeeding Jack Smith, who will remain as chairman, WXYZ-TV reported Tuesday night.
GM spokesman Brian S. Akre said he could not comment on the report, but said a news conference will be held Wednesday morning. He would not say what the news conference was about.
WXYZ-TV attributed its report to an unidentified source.
Wagoner, 46, has been president and chief operating officer of GM since October 1998. Before that, he headed GM’s North American operations, the company’s largest and most profitable unit. Wagoner comes from a financial background rather than the engineering side of the car business.
Wagoner was credited with streamlining management of the world’s largest corporation while cutting the number of GM models and reducing design and manufacturing time.
Smith, 61, gave up the title of president to Wagoner in 1998, but remained chairman and chief executive officer, titles he has held since 1996.
Despite record demand for cars and trucks last year, GM’s share of the U.S. market dropped to 29.2 percent.
Shares of GM rose $4.68 3/4 to $85.25 Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange, after the company announced it was not spinning off its highly profitable Hughes Electronics unit, but would use shares that track the unit’s performance to buy back GM shares, which will have the effect of raising the company’s per-share earnings.