President of GM Europe is to leave firm in March 2012 and will be replaced by Karl Stracke

Nick Reilly, president of General Motors Europe, is to retire in March 2012. Karl Stracke will replace the 61-year-old as boss of GM’s European operation.

Reilly has overseen the restructuring of GM Europe since December 2009 and is on course to lead the subsidiary, which includes Opel/Vauxhall, to profit ahead of time.

In his 37-year GM career, Reilly was the first president of GM Daewoo Auto and Technology in Korea when it was founded in 2002 and he also oversaw GM’s growth in emerging markets in Asia Pacific and Latin America.

Reilly will be succeeded by Stracke in January 2012 and will remain a part of GM’s executive committee until his retirement in March.

GM CEO Dan Akerson paid tribute to Reilly’s work, saying he “answered the call for GM at every turn”.

“He returned to Europe and successfully led the turnaround of our operations there during one of the most tumultuous times in our company’s history.”

Stracke will move to his native Germany to take up his new role, leaving behind Detroit where he was ‘s vice president of global vehicle engineering.

“Karl Stracke has tremendous product experience and a proven track record of teamwork across organizations,” Akerson said. “His results-driven style will build on the great work he and Nick started to position Opel/Vauxhall and GM Europe for sustainable and profitable growth.”

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