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Wagoner ousted at GM

General Motors' chief executive Rick Wagoner has stepped down with immediate effect following pressure from the US Government.

He has been replaced by Fritz Henderson, the carmaker's vice chairman and chief operating officer.

An Auto Task Force established by the US Government has been examining if and how GM can survive its financial crisis.

GM board member Kent Kresa, a former chairman and CEO of Northrop Grumman Corp., was named interim chairman and said new directors will make up the majority of GM's board when a new slate is nominated for election at the company's annual meeting in August.

 "The board has recognized for some time that the company's restructuring will likely cause a significant change in the stockholders of the company and create the need for new directors with additional skills and experience," Kresa said in a written statement.

Wagoner had taken measures to improve GM's fortunes, such as closing factories, ending the Oldsmobile brand, and cutting its US workforce from 177,000 to around 92,000.

However critics, including many US politicians, felt he moved too slowly, allowing GM to pile up $82 billion (£58bn) in losses in the last four years.


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