Tim Lee (GM)
General Motors Co. said Friday that longtime executive Tim Lee will retire April 1 after a nearly 45-year career with the company.
Lee, who heads GM global manufacturing operations, was chosen in 2013 by GM as chairman of GM China, a new position. Lee alsohad led positions in manufacturing engineering and global operations over his GM career that helped lead vehicle quality improvements and cut costs in product launches.
He also was instrumental in building relationships with GM’s joint venture partners in China, which is GM’s largest sales market.
“Tim inspired a collaborative approach across the organization and a true global mindset that made a difference for our customers, stockholders and employees,” GM CEO Mary Barra said in a statement. “His creativity, dedication, strength in building relationships and commitment to people development set a strong example for his team and for the company.”
The Detroit automaker said Jim DeLuca takes over as executive vice president of the company’s global manufacturing operations on Feb. 1.
GM said GM China President Matt Tsien will lead operations in China, where GM sold nearly 3.2 million vehicles last year.
DeLuca, 52 — now vice president of manufacturing for GM’s International Operations, where he recently led the launch of 19 new vehicles — will report to Barra, who took over as CEO on Jan. 15.
He will oversee more than 200,000 employees at 171 plants in 31 countries.
With 35 years experience at GM, DeLuca has experience in global manufacturing, improving quality, labor relations and product launches, the automaker said.
DeLuca started working for GM in 1979 when he was a student at General Motors Institute, now Kettering University.
DeLuca has worked in several manufacturing jobs at GM plants and in November 2007 GM named him vice president of quality for GM Asia Pacific and GM Daewoo Auto & Technology. He became vice president of quality for GM International Operations in 2009 and became vice president of manufacturing for International Operations last year.
This move marks Barra’s first major personnel decision since taking over.
Lee’s retirement has been in the works for some time — well before Barra became CEO. He opted not to meet with reporters at the North American International Auto Show because he had already decided to retire.
It comes as GM has been rethinking aspects of its global production.