The beginning of June has seen some major shifts in logistics management at General Motors.
Christine Krathwohl, who was until last week director of Global Purchasing and Corporate Administrative Services/Vehicle Sales, Service and Marketing (VSSM), has now replaced Dale Kitchen as executive director, Global Logistics & Containers. Krathwohl will report to Bob Socia, vice president, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain.
Kitchen has moved to Global Quality, as executive director, Manufacturing Engineering Quality, with primary responsibility for carrying out process failure modes and effects analysis (PFMEA). He will report to Terry Woychowski, vice president, Global Quality and Launches.

Krathwohl’s previous role will be filled by Michelle Braun, currently director of North America Inbound Logistics. She will report to Kim Brycz, executive director, Global Machinery & Equipment/Indirect and Current Future Business.

Meanwhile, Jeff Morrison, currently director, Opel/Vauxhall Logistics based in Europe will move back to the US August 1st and replace Braun under the title director, Material Logistics & Containers. Morrison will report to Christine Krathwohl and a replacement for him at Opel/Vauxhall is expected to be named at a later date according to the company.
Finally, Peter Ludwig Deuer has taken over as director of Supply Chain Operations in Europe for Opel/Vauxhall from Elliot Swiss, who now moves back to the US to take on the role of director of Purchasing for chassis structures. Deuer reports to Michael Scholl, director of Supply Chain for General Motors Europe.
The most recent moves echo the shift GM made last June when dozens of executives changed roles across the areas of product planning, vehicle engineering, purchasing and supply chain. Those moves included Susanna Webber, executive director of Global Logistics before Kitchen, replacing Tom McMillen as GM Europe’s vice president for global purchasing and supply (McMillen is also a former head of Global Logistics), as well as Morrison and Swiss’s roles at Opel/Vauxhall. McMillen went on to become executive director of supplier quality.
The reasons for the change, which took immediate effect with the exception of Morrison in Europe, are not yet clear. In something of a change from recent appointment of the executive director position, this is not Krathwohl’s first job in logistics. She had previously been director of Supply Operations for Europe, director of Supply Chain Strategic Planning as well as director of Inbound Logistics North America from 2006 to 2008.
Both Webber and Kitchen, the last two executives to hold the position, had extensive purchasing experience but were new to logistics when they began.
GM’s logistics structure at a glance
GM’s global logistics management has regional variations but falls under its Global Purchasing and Supply Chain function (GPSC), which encompasses all supplier and service purchasing, and is headed by the Detroit-based Socia. GPSC has regional vice presidents for its major regions, including GPSC Europe (headed by Webber); GPSC South America, headed by Fred Rolden; and GPSC International Operations, which includes Asia and Russia, and is headed by Johnny Saldanha. There are also directors for GPSC at the head of major countries within the regions.
Within GPSC is the logistics and containers function that Krathwohl now leads, which has all purchasing responsibility for logistics–a budget that Webber said in an interview with Automotive Logistics was around $5 billion in 2010 (read more here).
Again, logistics has regional executive directors that report to their regional GPSC vice president, which besides Morrison and his successor in Europe includes Edgard Pezzo in South America and Andreas Ginkel for GM International. North America splits this function between inbound (which Morrison will assume) and outbound, which will still be led by Vicki Streukens.
A separate function under GPSC is also Supply Chain Operations, which includes tier supplier capacity planning and supply chain planning, with directors in each region including William Hurles in North America, Scholl in Europe and Mike Dickenson for GM International.