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De Nysschen: 'I did not endear myself to everyone' at GM

by Justin King

\"I would conclude that in their opinion, I did not challenge hard enough,\" the ousted Cadillac CEO says.

Johan de Nysschen has pointed to his blunt style as a contributing factor in getting ousted from his position as head of Cadillac.

The executive had been poached from Infiniti to help transform the struggling luxury brand in 2014, providing a valuable outside opinion and creating more independence from General Motors' core leadership.

"GM is a very complex organization to navigate. I saw my role to act as a change agent to challenge the status quo, in the reasoning that more of the same would not lead to a different outcome," he told Automotive News. "I suppose in the process, I did not endear myself to everyone."

The executive immediately focused on long-term goals, aiming to increase Cadillac's brand value and reduce reliance on profit-killing incentives to help drive sales. Ignoring near-term performance apparently ruffled a few feathers, however.

"I greatly admire and respect the GM top leadership but, in the end, I would conclude that in their opinion, I did not challenge hard enough," de Nysschen added. "It happens. It's not personal, it's business."

Cadillac is currently being led by GM lifer Steve Carlisle, promoted from a leading role at GM Canada.