GM Global Manufacturing and Sustainability Exec Gerald Johnson to Retire After 44 Years

March 19, 2024 | by magnews24.com

General Motors announced the retirement of its long-serving executive vice president of Global Manufacturing and Sustainability, Gerald Johnson, after a 44-year tenure at the company. Replacing him as the new executive vice president is Jens Peter (JP) Clausen, an industrial leader with expertise in global manufacturing, product engineering and scaling operations.

GM also announced that Mike Abbott, executive vice president of Software and Services, will be stepping down due to health reasons.

“Gerald’s leadership, vision and relentless pursuit of excellence in manufacturing have left an indelible mark on GM,” GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra said. “His impactful journey from joining the Fisher Body Plant in Euclid, Ohio, to his integral role in GM’s COVID-19 emergency response, is a testament to his unwavering commitment and dedication. We are immensely grateful for his over four decades of service and congratulate him on his well-deserved retirement.”

Johnson is esteemed for his instrumental role in bolstering GM’s manufacturing and labor relations. He was pivotal in effecting a major cultural transformation that underscored leadership, process discipline, continuous improvement and waste elimination. He is a widely respected leader who spent significant time on the shop floor and could often be heard saying, “Every day in a plant is a good day.”

Stepping in to lead Global Manufacturing and Sustainability at GM is JP Clausen, who brings a track record of manufacturing, innovation and operational excellence. He spearheaded the rapid scaling of electric vehicle propulsion systems at Tesla’s Gigafactory 1 and played a crucial role in making EVs more accessible. His expertise also extends to biomanufacturing.

At Zymergen, Clausen automated gene manufacturing and fermentation technology to deliver sustainable materials. He also led a financial turnaround at LEGO by simplifying the product and component portfolio, and at Google Data Centers, as vice president of Engineering, he drove groundbreaking technological innovation, product development and process optimization.

Mike Abbott will be leaving GM to care for his health. Since he arrived at GM last May, he has led significant advancements in the company’s approach to software design, development, execution and quality testing. Abbott also expanded the Software and Services leadership team by recruiting vice presidents with backgrounds from Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta and Microsoft.

Baris Cetinok, current vice president of Product in Software and Services, has been named the interim head of Software and Services while a search is conducted. Johnson will remain at GM through the end of the year and work in partnership with Clausen for a smooth transition.

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