GM’s head of HR leaving after 8 months

Nora Naughton
The Detroit News

General Motors Co.’s head of global human resources left the company Wednesday after eight months in the position.

Jose Tomas, who replaced John Quattrone as GM’s senior vice president of global human resources in July, is leaving the company for “personal reasons,” a spokesman for the automaker confirmed.

His departure was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. Tomas told the Wall Street Journal he plans to launch a new business venture.

The HR position is a key role in the company, as automakers aggressively recruit top talent to develop autonomous and connected-vehicle technology.

The position is especially important to GM, which is trying to overhaul its internal culture following its federally induced bankruptcy and a recall crisis that involved some 30 million vehicles with faulty ignition switches connected to 124 deaths.

GM said it will replace Tomas, but does not have an immediate successor lined up.

Tomas reported to CEO Mary Barra, who held the HR chief job from 2009 to 2011. He replaced longtime GM executive Quattrone, who spent 41 years at the company and served as HR chief from 2014 to 2017.

Prior to his short tenure with GM, Tomas held a similar leadership position at Anthem Inc., a health benefits company. Tomas has also served as global chief people officer and president of Latin American and Caribbean operations for Burger King Corp.

While GM struggled with high rates of executive turnover prior to bankruptcy, the company’s top brass has mostly stayed intact under Barra’s leadership, marking a stark difference from a recent series of shakeups at crosstown rival Ford Motor Co.

The Blue Oval got a new CEO last year, when former Steelcase CEO Jim Hackett replaced Mark Fields.

Just last week, the company’s executive vice president and president of North America Raj Nair was pushed out of the company for what the company called “inappropriate behavior.” That triggered yet another series of Ford executive shakeups.