Detroit, Michigan – General Motors has officially announced that Rick Wagoner is stepping down as chairman and CEO, effective immediately. He will be replaced by Fritz Henderson, GM president and chief operating officer.

Wagoner, 56, was named president and CEO in 2000, and assumed the role of chairman in 2003. Henderson, 50, was named president and COO in 2008; he was previously vice-chairman and chief financial officer.

Kent Kresa, chairman emeritus, Northrop Grumman Corporation, has been named interim non-executive chairman of the board of directors. Kresa became a GM director in 2003.

“The Board has recognized for some time that the company’s restructuring will likely cause a significant change in the stockholders of the company and create the need for new directors with additional skills and experience,” Kresa said in a statement. “The Board intends to work to nominate a slate of directors for the next annual meeting that will include a majority of new directors taking into account the addition of new directors, retirement, and decisions by individual directors not to stand for re-election, although the specific individuals who will be nominated or choose not to run or leave the board are not yet known.”

GM said it is awaiting further announcements by President Barack Obama and the Task Force on Automotive Reconstruction before making additional comments.

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