DETROIT (AP) -- General Motors Co. said Monday it has named board member Stephen J. Girsky vice chairman of corporate strategy and business development.
The promotion likely means an even bigger role for Girsky, 47, a longtime Wall Street auto analyst who was named to GM's board of directors last July representing the United Auto Workers union. Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre -- who was an auto industry newcomer when he joined GM last summer -- has said he relies heavily on Girsky for advice.
"Steve brings a depth of experience to this position that will serve the company well as we continue with our restructuring efforts," Whitacre said in a statement. "He is a trusted adviser who has made a major contribution through the company's transition."
GM said in his new post Girsky will be responsible for corporate strategy, business alliances, new business development and related areas. He will continue to serve as a board member.
Last month, GM disclosed it is paying Girsky $1.1 million a year in cash and company stock for his dual role as board member and adviser to Whitacre.
The automaker also said John F. Smith, vice president for corporate planning and alliances, plans to retire. Smith, 59, will remain with the company through the end of the year as an adviser to Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell.
Girsky's elevation to vice chairman brings the number of individuals with that title at GM to four. Tom Stephens is vice chairman of global product operations, while longtime auto executive Bob Lutz is simply vice chairman. Liddell is also a vice chairman.