No General Motors Europe union tears will be shed for departing GM chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner.

The senior labour leader at Opel, Klaus Franz, welcomed Fritz Henderson as the new CEO and told Reuters: “The move was overdue.”

The chief worker representative and Opel supervisory board member added that Henderson – who, as GM Europe chief some years ago – oversaw a sweeping Opel restructuring that resulted in thousands of job cuts – made a clear push for a separation of the German brand.

Franz said Henderson supports independence for Opel, which is searching for a new investor that could potentially take a majority stake, while Wagoner “personified the failed policy of a centralised system”.

GM Europe has yet to comment on the top management change in the US which will soon also see much of the board replaced.