Adient, the seating supplier, has named former General Motors CEO Frederick (Fritz) Henderson interim chief executive officer and John Barth, Adient's current head director, interim chairman of the board.

Henderson was most recently CEO of SunCoke and previously was briefly (March to December 2009) president and CEO of General Motors.

He has 26 years of automotive experience including direct involvement in China and Asia Pacific and 20 years of general management and operating experience, eight of which were as a CEO. He has been on Adient's board since the company was established as a public entity in 2016.

Henderson will remain a board member but will relinquish his position on the governance committee.

Henderson succeeds Bruce McDonald, who has stepped down as chairman and CEO but will remain as adviser to the new CEO until 30 September.

Adient said in a statement its board was recruiting a new, permanent CEO.

"[McDonald] made significant contributions during the formation of Adient to ensure a successful spin-off," said Barth.

"[He] and the board agree now is the right time for a new leader with a fresh perspective to drive value in the next phase of Adient's life as a public company. [Henderson] brings the right leadership skills and operational experience to step in and immediately accelerate our transformation, providing the time to conduct an expeditious and thoughtful search for a new CEO."

Henderson said: "While our market position remains strong and our China joint ventures continue to perform at high levels, we recognise that we are not executing at the levels we are capable of in our consolidated seat structures and mechanisms and seating segments, and that shortfall has been reflected in our financial results and valuation.

"My immediate focus is on better operational execution to drive meaningful improvements in profitability and free cash flow. We know what needs to be done and we will be approaching the work ahead of us with urgency."

McDonald has served as the company's chairman and CEO since its separation from Johnson Controls (where seating came under the Interiors Experience division) in 2016.