Former General Motors vice-chairman and top Opel and GM Europe executive, Stephen Girsky, will retire from the automaker’s board of directors next June. He joined the board in July 2009.

He will be replaced by Jane Mendillo, the retired president and CEO of the Harvard Management Company, nominated for election at the company’s annual meeting of shareholders in June.

“Jane brings to the board a demonstrated track record of performance through her decades of investment management experience,” said GM chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “She has generated proven results through periods of rapidly changing market conditions. Her experience and leadership will be especially valuable as we continue to strengthen our investor outreach and engagement.”

From 2008 to 2014, Mendillo was president and chief executive officer of Harvard Management Company (HMC), which manages the endowment fund of Harvard University. She was recently elected to the board of Lazard.

“On behalf of the board, we wish Steve well and want to thank him for his many significant contributions to GM over the past seven years,” said Barra in a statement. “Steve brought to the company expertise and skills in a variety of important areas at a critical time in GM’s history.”

Girsky was GM vice chairman from March 2010 to January 2014 responsible for several functional areas, including global corporate strategy, new business development, global product planning and programme management, global connected customer/OnStar, and GM Ventures and global research and development.

He also served as chairman of the Adam Opel supervisory board and as interim president of GM Europe during the critical period in which the company established its current ‘Drive Opel 2022’ strategy. Girsky was also responsible for global purchasing and supply chain functions from 2011 to 2013 and served as senior adviser to GM from January 2014 to July 2014.

“The GM that exists today is a much different and stronger company than it was when I first joined the board seven years ago,” said Girsky. “There have been many milestones and accomplishments that I have been proud to be a part of along the way, including GM’s emergence from bankruptcy, improved UAW relationship, and the continued comeback of the European business. Also, the speed in which GM is actively positioning itself to capitalise on the innovations that are shaping the future of personal mobility – specifically in the areas of electrification, 4G connectivity and autonomous – is a testament to its strong leadership team.”

Girsky is currently president of SJ Girsky and Company, a role he returned to in July 2014. The independent advisory firm is based in New York, where he applies his more than 25 years of experience working with senior corporate and board executives, labour leaders, OEM leaders, suppliers and dealers, and national and local policy makers. Girsky also recently created a new company called VectoIQ, in which he is the managing partner.

Girsky has also served as lead director of auto industry supplier Dana Holdings from 2008 to 2009.