DETROIT (June 15, 2009) — The face of General Motors Corp. for suppliers has left the company.
Bo Andersson, who has led the Detroit-based auto maker's global purchasing and supply chain operations since 2001, left GM on June 12 to "pursue other career interests," according to a news release.
Andersson was born in Sweden and joined GM through its Saab division. He established a reputation as a tough driver of prices during the 1990s when, as purchaser of chemical commodities, his unit fought back against price increases from GE Plastics and instead began looking for other sources.
As head of the global purchasing, he was charged with reducing GM's supply base, consolidating purchasing with a smaller number of parts makers. His group also pushed more for outsourcing work to low cost manufacturing regions.
Andersson's "power of the purse" and strong personality made him a quickly recognized figure in the auto industry, said Jeff Mengel, a partner with consulting group Plante & Moran P.L.L.C. with offices in Chicago.
His departure, less than two weeks after GM entered Chapter 11 protection with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York, also sends a clear signal that changes are in store for the way the auto supply chain currently operates.
"The business model needs to be revamped, and I think sometimes having the same players makes it hard to do that," Mengel said. "Sometimes that means the coach has to go. There is going to be a lot of action going on in terms of how they do business with suppliers going forward."
But, he said, it is hard to predict now what exactly those changes will be.