The trade newspaper Automotive News and sister publication Advertising Age have reported that Kurt Ritter, recently named the marketing chief for General Motors' Buick and Pontiac-GMC divisions, has resigned to head the Saatchi & Saatchi advertising agency's Los Angeles office.

The papers said that Ritter will take the new post of CEO of Toyota Motor America's North American account, overseeing the agency's key management team at its Torrance, California, office, according to GM and advertising industry sources. GM has not selected a successor to Ritter.

According to Automotive News, former Buick marketing head Roger Adams will run Buick marketing on an interim basis, while continuing his new post as general manager of the GM Customer Network. A GM spokesperson told the paper a permanent replacement for Ritter should be named this week.

Automotive News noted Ritter was named general manager of the Buick and Pontiac-GMC divisions in late February — a new post aimed at streamlining the marketing efforts of the two divisions. Although GM officials stressed that the divisions had not been merged, the move brought them closer to that point.

Before the move, Ritter had been marketing general manager of Chevrolet, a division that he had worked for since 1971, Automotive News said.