Bob Lutz, Gary Cowger Named Chairman, President, of GM North America;
Ron Zarrella Returns to Bausch & Lomb
General Motors Corp. today announced that Bob Lutz, vice chairman of GM Product Development, will take on additional duties as chairman of GM North America. Gary Cowger, group vice president of GM Manufacturing and Labor Relations, has been named president of GM North America. Both changes are effective immediately.
Ron Zarrella, GM executive vice president and president of GM North America, has resigned to become chairman and chief executive officer of Bausch & Lomb Inc. in Rochester, NY.
Lutz joined GM in September from Exide Technologies and after a 39-year career in the auto industry. He will continue to focus on GM product development activities and team with Cowger on North America operations.
Cowger was named to his current position in January. He previously had been group vice president of GM Labor Relations since November 1998. He earlier had assignments in Europe and Mexico after starting his GM career in 1965 and holding a number of engineering and manufacturing positions.
As president, Cowger will be responsible for the day-to-day management of GM North America and will work with Lutz on the business unit's strategic direction. In addition, he will remain the global process leader for manufacturing.
“Lutz and Cowger give us a very strong North American leadership team with great experience and depth,” GM President and CEO Rick Wagoner said.
“I want to congratulate Ron Zarrella on this terrific opportunity at Bausch & Lomb,” Wagoner said. “Ron has been a strong contributor at GM. He led an effective team that has transformed our sales and marketing and brought about a heightened awareness of brand value to the entire industry.
“As president of our North American region, he oversaw the reorganization of just about every aspect of our operations. GM productivity and quality improved significantly during his time at GM.
“More recently, he deserves credit for reviving industry sales after the tragic events of Sept. 11 by instituting GM’s 'Keep America Rolling' campaign. We will miss Ron’s contributions, but are confident that the strong team he put together will continue to build on its accomplishments.”