Opel CEO Dr Karl-Thomas Neumann has stepped down as the Speaker of the Management Board and CEO of Opel/Vauxhall.
Michael Lohscheller, Opel CFO since September 2012, has been appointed as his successor with immediate effect.
Dr Neumann remains a member of the Management Board until the closing of the sale of Opel/Vauxhall to Groupe PSA.
“It was a difficult personal decision to not continue with the Opel/Vauxhall team when it transitions to Groupe PSA,” said Neumann. “I am proud of the team for all we have accomplished so far and have no doubt that the move to PSA will make Opel/Vauxhall an even stronger and more successful company in the future. I am committed to completing this transaction and will then take some time to decide what is next for me.”
“We have made tremendous progress in the turnaround of Opel/Vauxhall under Karl-Thomas’ leadership,” said Dan Ammann, Opel Supervisory Board Chairman and President, General Motors.
Dr. Wolfgang Schäfer-Klug, Vice Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Adam Opel GmbH and Head of the General Works Council, said: “The worker representatives within the Supervisory Board respect Dr. Neumann’s decision. He has managed to regain recognition with Opel, an improved brand image and a strengthened self-awareness, coupled with competitive, outstanding models. The decision to appoint the current CFO and member of the management board Michael Lohscheller as the new CEO is explicitly supported by us.”
Michael Lohscheller said: “I would like to thank the Supervisory Board for the trust. We will stay on the current path and continue to gain strength as part of the Groupe PSA. After the expected closing of the transaction, a new European champion will emerge. I am looking forward to the new task and to working together with the management team to implement a successful future plan for the benefit of all 38,000 Opel/Vauxhall employees and its stakeholders.”
The confirmation today follows media reports in Germany over the weekend.
According to Reuters, German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (FAS) reported Neumann sees the sale to PSA as the right strategic step but is concerned the new owner is underestimating the growing importance of electric cars.
General Motors last week suggested the Opel sale could be completed as early as the end of July.
Neumann had said in an interview in March he planned to remain in his job even under Peugeot, citing “great respect for each other”, Reuters noted.
Neumann joined Opel in 2013 to head the European operations, including Vauxhall, after losing out in a management reshuffle at Volkswagen, the news agency added.