GM CEO Henderson resigns after 8 turbulent months - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

GM CEO Henderson resigns after 8 turbulent months

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FILE - In this July 10, 2009 file photo General Motors Corp. CEO Fritz Henderson addresses the media during a news conference at the company's headquarters in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File) FILE - In this July 10, 2009 file photo General Motors Corp. CEO Fritz Henderson addresses the media during a news conference at the company's headquarters in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors' CEO Frederick "Fritz" Henderson has resigned after eight turbulent months as head of the largest U.S. automaker. The company said Tuesday that Chairman Ed Whitacre Jr. will serve as interim CEO. The company plans an international search for a new president and chief executive.

At a press conference here, Whitacre read a brief statement thanking Henderson for his work during a period of challenge and change.

Henderson, 51, succeeded Rick Wagoner on March 29 after the Obama administration ousted GM's former CEO as the company worked through a government-led reorganization.

Henderson spent the next few months working with the government to reorganize the automaker outside of bankruptcy, but eventually took the company into Chapter 11 protection in June.

With the government's help, the company emerged from court protection in just 40 days cleansed of massive debt and burdensome contracts that would have sunk it without federal loans.

Henderson continued to downsize the automaker after its emergence from bankruptcy. He sought to scale down GM to just four core brands: Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC.

While he has largely succeeded in that goal, attempts to sell the company's other brands have hit obstacles.

The company is winding down Pontiac and was successful in winning a tentative sale of Hummer to a Chinese construction machinery maker.

However, Henderson's bid to sell Saturn to racecar mogul Roger Penske fell through and the brand is now liquidating. Last week, Swedish sports car maker Koenigsegg Automotive AB dropped out of a deal to buy Saab.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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