GM boss 'defects' to Russia

Bo Andersson, who resigned as General Motors' purchasing chief on Friday, has agreed to become chairman of Russian carmaker GAZ.
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GAZ, Russia's second-largest automaker, said shareholders would request a special meeting to add Mr Andersson's name to list of board candidates to be elected at a June 29 annual meeting.

The move will put Mr Andersson, 53, in a position to revive GM's Opel unit. GAZ, along with Russia's largest lender, Sberbank, and Canadian auto-parts supplier Magna International, is in line to buy Opel as GM sheds assets in bankruptcy. GAZ is controlled by businessman Oleg Deripaska.


Russia hopes that with GAZ as industrial partner, the deal will tap Opel's expertise to provide a chance of a technical breakthrough for its ailing car industry.

Mr Andersson is currently a consultant for the GAZ board and an adviser on car building to Deripaska.

"The ex-vice president of GM, Bo Andersson, has expressed his agreement to take the post of the chairman of the board of directors,'' GAZ said in a statement.

"There were preliminary discussions with him about the possibility of his election as the head of the board of directors, and the shareholders hope that his candidature will be elected."

After his sudden departure from GM "to pursue other career interests," Mr Andersson was quoted by a Swedish news agency on Friday saying he had a new job as CEO at a company he did not name.

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Mr Andersson had been GM's group vice president for purchasing and supply chain since 2001. He was instrumental in cutting $2 billion annually from the automaker's parts bill.

He spent more than two decades at GM after earlier posts at Saab. GM took its initial stake in the Swedish automaker in 1989 and is now trying to sell it. A buyer is expected to be named this week.

More recently, Mr Andersson worked with the US Treasury to help stabilize the supply base through a federal payment program that provided credit to suppliers.