Carl-Peter Forster has left his job as president of Opel Europe, General Motors has confirmed.
Forster has reportedly left following his disapproval of GM's handling of the sale of Opel/Vauxhall to Magna, which it pulled out of earlier this week.
Magna had long been expected to complete a takeover of Opel along with its Russian funding partner Sberbank, but it had decided instead to keep the European firm citing improved business conditions.
A GM source has reportedly told Automotive News that GM stalwart Bob Lutz will step up his involvement with Opel and chair the firm's supervisory board as it enters a new era of GM ownership.
Lutz, who is already a board member, isn't being lined up for a direct management role - or as a replacement for Forster - but he will the lead the board, which meets three or four times a year and will be responsible for forming and implementing Opel's new restructuring plan. A GM spokesman has dismissed the reports as "speculation" at this point.
In a statement, GM President and CEO Fritz Henderson thanked Forster for his time spent at the company and said the firm would now be beginning the search for his successor.
"The Opel brand has made tremendous progress under Carl-Peter’s tenure and leadership over the past several years," he said. "We thank him for his significant accomplishments and wish him only the best in the future."
Henderson said GM would be announcing its plans for Opel/Vauxhall next week, and confirmed no more senior management would be leaving the firm.
Forster said: "It’s been an honor to be part of the history of Opel, and I wish all the people with the organisation only the best in what I’m certain will be a great future."
Nick Reilly, former plant director at Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port, is set to stand in for Forster until a full replacement is appointed. Forster will assist GM in its search for his successor.