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GM’s Silence on Corvette’s Management Change is Deafening

by Keith Cornett on November 12, 2008

Corvette's Tom Wallace

This is an open post to General Motors, and I’m going to be blunt about what I have to say.

Tom Wallace, Performance Vehicle Line Executive and head of the Corvette team retires suddenly after a 38 year career at GM and you can’t issue one official press release thanking him for his service?

Gene Stefanyshyn is unofficially confirmed by sources to become the new head of the Corvette program and you can’t put out a statement welcoming him to the fold?

You have a whole communications department and can’t issue one statement concerning huge changes in your “Halo” car’s leadership? That’s pretty pathetic…

Wallace joined GM as a cooperative student with Buick in 1970. He finished his career as head of the Corvette program – a job description that we think should officially contain the phrase “greatest job in the world”. We don’t know the circumstances of why he left, and perhaps its none of our business, but you owe it to Tom, the customers who purchased Corvettes during his tenure and the enthusiast community in general to show a little class by thanking him for giving his entire working life to you.

It’s also come out through unofficial sources that Wallace’s replacement is Gene Stefanyshyn, the global vehicle line executive for rear wheel drive vehicles. How about an official press release welcoming Gene to the great community that is Corvette?

This is only the 5th leadership change in 56 years of Corvette history – it’s kind of a big deal to be mentioned in the same breath as Zora Arkus-Duntov, Dave McLellan and David Hill. An official statement would also be nice to clarify exactly where Corvette stands. Is Gene moving to Performance Vehicles or is Corvette moving to Rear Wheel Drive?

News is bad out there. We get it. Sales of Corvettes were down 52% last month. We hear the C7 program is now on an indefinite hold with nothing new expected until 2014. Rumors, innuendo and speculation is endless. With the financial crisis that threatens GM and talks of bailouts and bankruptcy, Corvette owners are concerned about the future direction of the car we love so much and a company that we respect.

It’s been exactly three weeks since the Wallace announcement. During that time, GM issued a press release regarding changes in management in the Service and Parts Operations (SPO) following the retirement of Doug Herberger who was with the company for 35 years. You owe the same to Tom Wallace and Gene Stefanyshyn.

Update: GM issued an offical statement today: Crystal Windham Named General Motors First African American Female Director of Design. Congratulations, Crystal. I would not have heard about your promotion without the wonderful staff at GM’s communications department doing their job!

Back me up on this my friends. Leave a comment with your thoughts about GM’s handling of the management changes. You may also offer thanks to Tom for his service or welcome Gene to club.

Corvette Responsibilities Shift to GM’s Gene Stefanyshyn
Corvette Chief Tom Wallace Set To Retire

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