"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.