So who is this Fritz Henderson guy?

That’s Frederick A. Henderson to you. Known simply as “Fritz”, Henderson has been with General Motors since 1984 and today (March 31, 2009) he will become the CEO of the struggling U.S. automaker. Fritz will be replacing Rick Wagoner who was asked to step down by the Obama administration over the weekend as a condition for General Motors to receive additional federal loans.

Obama reminded us yesterday that Wagoner wasn’t asked to step due to his failure to lead. 

“This is not meant as a condemnation of Mr. Wagoner, who has devoted his life to this company; rather, it’s a recognition that it will take a new vision and new direction to create the GM of the future,” Obama said in his speech.

Back to Fritz. Son of a Buick sales manager, Fritz holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

Fritz has held a number of positions at GM with his first significant position being group vice president of Finance for GMAC. From 1997 to 2000, Henderson was vice president and managing director of GM’s Brazil operations. In Brazil, Fritz was known for introducing the (you’re going to love this) small and inexpensive Celta subcompact car and the Meriva minivan. In June 2000, Henderson became group vice president of GM Latin America, Africa and the Middle East and in 2002, he became president of GM Asia Pacific where he was responsible for expanding in Korea and China.

In 2004, Henderson was appointed to chairman of GM Europe and made is return to the U.S. in 2006 becoming vice chairman and CFO. In 2008, Henderson became GM’s president and Chief Operating officer.

– By: Omar Rana