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GM may take time to find new CEO

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GM may take time to find new CEO
General Motors Company President and CEO Fritz Henderson (left) and Chairman Edward E. Whitacre, Jr. at the GM World Headquarters in Detroit, Michigan Thursday, July 9, 2009. General Motors emerged from bankruptcy on July 10, 2009, faster than expected. (UPI Photo/John F. Martin/GM) | License Photo

DETROIT, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- Interim General Motors Chief Executive Officer Edward Whitacre Jr. has suggested his temporary assignment at the U.S. automaker may last as long as a year.

Whitacre, who is also the company's chairman, told GM employees a search to find a replacement for CEO Fritz Henderson, who resigned abruptly Tuesday, would be successful if it took as long as a year to find the right person, The Detroit News reported Thursday.

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General Motors executives have put two faces on Henderson's departure, one part sadness and one part moving forward.

Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said the move was a surprise and that "the whole General Motors team" was saddened to see Henderson go.

Lutz made his remarks at the Los Angeles Auto Show, where he filled in for Henderson as keynote speaker and where the CEO's resignation took the spotlight away from GM's product line and its resurgence from bankruptcy.

Lutz and Rep. Dale Kildee, D-Flint, both said GM would go outside the company to find a new chief executive.

The board "decided they were going to make a quantum leap and go outside like Ford did, when it went to Boeing," said Kildee, referring to Ford CEO Alan Mulally.

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