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GM's chief Fritz Henderson resigns

DETROIT, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- General Motors Co. said Chief Executive Officer Fritz Henderson would resign effective immediately after eight months leading the largest U.S. automaker.

The move comes as a surprise to many, despite GM's troubles unloading some of its major brands, like Saab.

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Saab appeared to have a buyer lined up until a week ago when Koenigsegg Automotive backed out of the deal. Penske Automotive earlier this year backed away from a plan to purchase Saturn and GM said in September it would cancel plans to sell its German and British operations.

GM Chairman Edward Whitacre Jr. said Henderson had done a "remarkable job," but added, "some changes need to be made going forward," The New York Times reported Tuesday.

Whitacre will take over as interim CEO until a replacement can be found. At a news conference, he said, "I remain more convinced than ever that our company is on the right path," adding, "we now need to accelerate our progress."

Henderson took over from Rick Wagoner, who resigned at the behest of the White House automotive task force during a turbulent summer in which GM was forced into bankruptcy and emerged with $50 billion in government loans.

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