General Motors' Rick Wagoner on Monday said he has stepped aside as the chief executive officer of the company after US White House officials asked him to leave the ailing auto maker.
"On Friday I was in Washington for a meeting with Administration officials. In the course of that meeting, they requested that I 'step aside' as CEO of GM, and so I have," Rick Wagoner said in a statement.
Announcing rejigging of the corporate officers and the board of directors, GM in a separate statement said "Rick Wagoner is stepping down as chairman and CEO, effective immediately."
Wagoner, 56, was named president and CEO of the auto company in 2000 and assumed the role of chairman in 2003. Fritz Henderson, GM president and chief operating officer, would serve as CEO. Henderson, 50, was named to his current position in 2008. He was previously vice-chairman and chief financial officer, GM said.
"Fritz Henderson is an excellent choice to be the next CEO of GM. Having worked closely with Fritz for many years, I know that he is the ideal person to lead the company through the completion of our restructuring efforts," Wagoner said.
"....I wish him well, and I stand ready to support him, and interim Non-Executive Chairman Kent Kresa, in every way possible," Wagoner added.
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