GM executive shuffle continues: CFO Liddell resigns, Treasurer Ammann promoted GM CFO Chris Liddell By Doron Levin

FORTUNE -- The management churn at General Motors Co. (GM) proceeds unabated with the resignation Thursday of Chris Liddell as chief financial officer after 14 months on the job.

Dan Akerson, GM chief executive officer, has been stirring his pot of executives since taking over last fall -- and he is the fourth GM CEO in less than two years. Last month GM got a new chief of product development, Mary Barra. Last week, GM's head of engine and transmission development, Jamie Hresko, resigned.

In a conference call with journalists, Liddell, 52, explained that he had achieved his goal of getting GM "back on its feet" financially. He also said he was "delighted" that Dan Ammann, 38, who joined GM as treasurer last April from Morgan Stanley, would be taking over for him.

Liddell said in the call that "there's no exact perfect time" to leave, that he "left great foundations in place" and that he has "no specific plans, a couple of ideas of things I'd like to do." Afterwards, a GM spokesman said Liddell was about to be married, which he said may have some bearing on his career.

In short, the reasons for Liddell's abrupt departure remain obscure, adding to uncertainty about GM's restructuring, corporate governance and whether management is sound enough to contend with fierce global competition in a period of rising, though relatively weak, demand for vehicles in the U.S.

"I would say the business is intact," said Akerson, "and we're not unhappy." GM filed for bankruptcy and was reorganized by the U.S. Treasury in mid-2009.

Akerson said Barra's promotion to head of product development while her predecessor was given the new post of chief technology officer "gives us the best of both worlds."

Akerson said Ammann -- like Liddell, a native of New Zealand -- "will pick up the baton and run forward." He called them "two of the most talented financial executives I know."

Flush with government financing, GM posted its first annual profit in six years for 2010, earning $4.7 billion -- an impressive turnaround from the $21 billion loss in 2009. GM has begun 2011 with a gain in U.S. market share -- albeit by granting the steepest discounts among the major carmakers.

The financial impact of GM's discounts on first-quarter financial results will be revealed within the next month or so. Investors already may already be worried about the durability of GM profits, on top of economic uncertainties surrounding the price of energy and Mideast turmoil.

GM shares opened down as much as 3.8% in the first two hours after the news of Liddell's resignation, more than the broader market. They have been especially weak for the past two weeks, dipping below the initial public offering price of $33 per share.

The U.S. government, still the biggest holder of GM stock, will be scrutinizing the value of its stock carefully. Surely the administration of President Barack Obama would prefer to be out of its investment by the time the next presidential campaign begins to heat up later this year.

As a long lead time business, with investments and vehicles designs coming to market as finished cars and trucks two to three years on, it may take another year or more to understand what toll the management changes at GM -- and any slowdowns -- may have actually taken. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Find Your Next Car
Company Price Change % Change
Ford Motor Co 14.79 -0.32 -2.12%
Bank of America Corp... 17.05 0.04 0.24%
eBay Inc 56.63 3.97 7.54%
Apple Inc 100.75 0.64 0.64%
General Electric Co 25.62 0.20 0.79%
Data as of Sep 30
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,042.90 -28.32 -0.17%
Nasdaq 4,493.39 -12.46 -0.28%
S&P 500 1,972.29 -5.51 -0.28%
Treasuries 2.51 0.02 0.68%
Data as of 2:15am ET


CNNMoney's Italian-American investing correspondents did a taste test of Olive Garden's food. They agree with hedge fund Starboard: It's not very appetizing. More

Even limited air operations could cost up to $4 billion a year, says a think tank, while large ground forces could cost $1.8 billion a month. More

Pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong are using FireChat to improve communication and organize. More

On Wednesday, 17% of First Green Bank's 66 employees will get a raise under the company's new "living wage" program. The guarantee: At least about $30,000 a year. More

This mom of four only makes $29,000 a year and is losing $400 a month because the state is garnishing her paycheck over a debt. Now she is about to be evicted from her apartment. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.