The face of General Motors Corp. for suppliers has left the company.
Bo Andersson, who has led the Detroit-automaker's global purchasing and supply chain operations since 2001, left GM on June 12 to pursue other career interests, according to a news release.
Andersson was born in Sweden and joined GM through its Saab division. He established a reputation as a tough driver of prices during the 1990s when, as purchaser of chemical commodities, his unit fought against price increases from GE Plastics and began looking for other sources.
As head of global purchasing, he was charged with reducing GM's supply base, consolidating purchasing with a smaller number of parts makers. His group also pushed more for outsourcing work to from high- to low-cost manufacturing regions.
Andersson's power of the purse and strong personality quickly made him a recognized figure in the auto industry, said Jeff Mengel, a Chicago-based partner and plastics industry practice leader of consulting group Plante & Moran PLLC.
Andersson's departure, less than two weeks after GM entered Chapter 11 protection with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York, also sends a clear signal that changes are in store for the way the auto supply chain currently operates, Mengel said.
The business model needs to be revamped, and I think sometimes having the same players makes it hard to do that, he said.
Sometimes, that means the coach has to go, he added. There is going to be a lot of action going on in terms of how [GM does] business with suppliers going forward.
But Mengel said it is hard to predict at the present time exactly what those changes will be.