GM replaces Opel unit's CFO, research and development chief in wake of Opel CEO's departure

FRANKFURT – The shakeup is gathering speed at General Motors’ Opel subsidiary in Europe as two more top executives are leaving their posts.

Opel announced Wednesday that Chief Financial Officer Mark James will be replaced by Michael Lohscheller, until now the CFO of Volkswagen’s US business.

And it says research and development head Rita Forst is resigning from her post. Another Opel executive, Michael Ableson, is taking over.

The changes follow the sudden resignation last week of Opel CEO Karl-Friedrich Stracke just two weeks after he presented a turnaround plan. That move was taken as a sign of GM’s impatience with the effort to return money-losing Opel to profit.

Steve Girsky, chairman of Opel’s board of directors, said that the new executives “will further accelerate the plan to revitalize Opel.”