As part of the latest management shake up at General Motors that is seeing dozens of executives change roles in areas of product planning, vehicle engineering, purchasing and supply chain, Susanna Webber is moving from her position as executive director for global logistics to become GM Europe’s vice president for global purchasing and supply chain, effective September 1st this year. She will succeed Tom McMillen, who will become executive director of supplier quality, as he continues to gain a wider variety of purchasing experience following previous roles in logistics. McMillen replaces Dale Kitchen, who will complete the circular shuffle by taking over Webber’s position as the head of global logistics.
A 12-year veteran at the carmaker spent mainly in purchasing, Webber took over her current role in logistics at the end of May 2008, when she also succeeded McMillen. During the tumultuous two years that have followed, she oversaw a realignment of the OEM’s supply chain and the consolidation of several functions under the control of the logistics team, including containerisation, warehousing, sequencing and intercontinental movements.
During the bankruptcy proceedings, Webber also played a critical role in supplier relations as the lead representative for supplier communication for global purchasing and supply chain, where she won praise for helping to maintain healthy communication with suppliers during that period. This mammoth task included rerunning the entire contract assumption and assignment for more than 700,000 contracts across GM’s various organisations and included the analysis of every supplier contract from the bankrupt company to decide which were going to be moved to the new entity, all the while ensuring that production and deliveries were not interrupted. She and her team set up a call centre that was open 24/7 for the first three weeks.
It was part of an experience that appears to have had meaningful repercussions for the OEM’s supplier and provider relationships in general, with recent improvements shown in GM’s ratings from the Michigan-based consultancy Planning Perspective’s suppliers relations index. Webber told Automotive Logistics magazine in the forthcoming cover feature interview of the July-September issue that the company was now much more focused on taking suggestions and listening to its suppliers, including logistics providers, on details ranging from operations to the request for quote process. 
“What we experienced through the bankruptcy was a long, eye-opening lesson in terms of how we worked and interfaced both as a company and with our suppliers and providers,” she said.
Peter Baumhefner, executive vice president of operations for Pacer Stacktrain, will leave the company at the beginning of July. Parent company Pacer International has appointed Val Noel, currently Pacer’s executive vice president of street operations, as a temporary replacement to oversee its intermodal operations.
“We thank Peter for his leadership, and the spirit of innovation he brought to Pacer and the intermodal industry,” said the company in a statement.
In other moves at Pacer International during July, Mike Clark will be joining as executive vice president, capacity planning, reporting directly to Dan Avramovich, chairman and CEO. Clarke will coordinate all Pacer capacity requirements including rail, truck, air, and ocean working with the respective lines of business including automotive.
Bob Sloan, vice president yield and network management, will assume the responsibility of the Network Management team in addition to his current responsibilities of Yield Management and Operational Reporting. Doug Matthew, executive vice president, network management, will be leaving the Company in July.
As part of consolidation activity at the company, Pacer has recently moved its corporate headquarters from Concord in California’s Bay Area to Dublin, Ohio.
Dr Francisco Javier Garcia Sanz, Volkswagen board member and chairman of the Board of Directors of Spanish carmaker Seat, has been re-elected for a further two-year term as president of the Spanish automakers association – ANFAC. Garcia Sanz became the association’s President in 2008.
According to the association he has intensified relations with the Spanish government, in particular with the ministries for industry, environment, labour and home affairs, during a very challenging period for the Spanish automotive industry.
Under his presidency, Garcia Sanz was closely involved in the introduction of the “Plan 2000”, a government incentive designed to support the Spanish automotive industry which led to additional demand for over 140,000 cars in 2009.
ANFAC also initiated the €800m programme to strengthen the competitiveness of the Spanish automotive industry which was passed by the Spanish government aimed at modernizing car production and component manufacturing plants.