GM’s chief financial officer to step down, treasurer will take his place
DETROIT — General Motors said Thursday that its chief financial officer, Christopher P. Liddell, was stepping down, less than four months after helping the automaker execute the largest initial public offering in American history.
The announcement is the latest in a string of management shuffles for GM, whose board and top executives are virtually all new since the company’s bankruptcy in 2009. Liddell had been widely expected to be among the contenders to eventually become GM’s chief executive.
He will be succeeded by the company’s treasurer, Daniel Ammann, and a new treasurer will be appointed later, GM said. Liddell, 52, said his decision to leave was not a sign of any financial turbulence ahead for GM and was unrelated to being passed over last fall when Daniel F. Akerson, a board member, was selected to succeed Edward E. Whitacre Jr. as chief executive.
“When I came to GM, my primary goal was to help get the company back on its feet,” Liddell told reporters in a conference call. “I’m incredibly proud of what we were able to achieve in a relatively short period of time.”
He added, “There’s no wider context other than that I’ve done what I hoped to achieve as CFO and it’s time to move on.”
Ammann spoke only briefly, saying that investors would see “absolutely more of the same” from GM under his guidance.
Nicholas Colas, chief market strategist at the ConvergEx Group, said he expected Ammann to continue Liddell’s focus on eliminating debt, funding its pensions, and paving the way for the federal government to sell its stake.
Ammann, 38, advised GM during its bankruptcy reorganization and played a large role in selling GM to investors ahead of the November stock offering.
Like Liddell, he is a native of New Zealand. He joined GM a year ago, working out of the company’s New York office, from the investment firm Morgan Stanley, where he was managing director and head of industrials investment banking.
“Dan’s depth of knowledge of the financial community and our business will be instrumental as we continue to earn the trust of global investors and customers,” Akerson said in a statement.
Liddell’s resignation seemed as much of a surprise as his decision to join GM. The company’s future was murky when he arrived, and he had recently quit as Microsoft’s chief financial officer with aspirations of holding the top job at another technology company.