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Frederick Henderson
Born Frederick A. Henderson
November 29, 1958 (1958-11-29) (age 51)
Detroit, Michigan, USA
Nationality American
Alma mater University of Michigan
Harvard Business School
Occupation Businessman
Former CEO of General Motors (2009-2009)
Predecessor Rick Wagoner
Spouse(s) Karen
Children Sarah, Emily

Frederick A. "Fritz" Henderson (born November 29, 1958) was President and Chief Executive Officer of General Motors. Prior to his appointment as CEO on March 31, 2009, Henderson was the Vice President of General Motors and has been with the company since 1984. Frederick Henderson resigned as the CEO of General Motors on December 1, 2009.

He replaced Rick Wagoner as CEO of GM when Wagoner stepped down at the request of President Barack Obama[1] in relation to the General Motors Chapter 11 reorganization after serving in that position for eight years. Henderson assumed the new position on March 31, 2009.[2] Welcoming the appointment, Wagoner said: “Having worked closely with Fritz for many years, I know that he is the ideal person to lead the company through the completion of our restructuring efforts. His knowledge of the global industry and the company are exceptional, and he has the intellect, energy, and support among GM’ers worldwide to succeed.”[3]

Reacting to the news, Henderson announced that “over the next 60 days, we will work around the clock, with all parties, to meet the aggressive requirements that have been set by the Task Force, and to make the fundamental and lasting changes necessary to reinvent GM for the long-term.”[4]


Life and career

Henderson was born in Detroit, Michigan. Henderson is a 1976 graduate of Lake Orion High School in Lake Orion, Michigan. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business and a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School. During his time at Michigan, Henderson pitched for the University of Michigan Wolverines baseball team.

Since joining General Motors in 1984, he held a number of positions with the company until 1992 when he became GMAC group vice president of finance in Detroit.

From 1997 to 2000, Henderson became GM vice president and managing director of GM do Brasil covering GM operations in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Here he was successful in introducing small, inexpensive cars such as the Celta subcompact and the Meriva microvan, both produced in Brazil.[5]

In June 2000, he was appointed group vice president and president of GM-LAAM (Latin America, Africa and Middle East) and in January 2002, he moved to Singapore as president of GM Asia Pacific where he was successful in expanding operations in Korea and China.[6][7]

In 2004, Henderson was appointed chairman of GM Europe, based in Zurich, Switzerland, where he undertook substantial restructuring including significant reductions in jobs.[8]

After becoming vice chairman and chief financial officer in January 2006, in March 2009, he became GM president and chief operating officer.[9] At the time, the Financial Times quoted him as saying: “Being part of a turnround at GM when, frankly, many people don’t think it can be done, is exhilarating, if you like challenges. I have never had a dull day in my time at GM.”[10]

When GM exited bankruptcy, Henderson said, "This is an exciting day for General Motors, one that will allow every employee, including me, to get back to the business of designing, building and selling great cars and trucks and serving the needs of our customers. We deeply appreciate the support we've received. We'll work hard to repay the trust, and the money, that so many have invested in GM."[11]

In August 2009, Henderson refused to move the economically priced, rear wheel drive, Pontiac G8, to another GM marque after slashing the brand.[12]

On December 1, 2009, Fritz Henderson resigned from General Motors as CEO and was replaced by board Chairman Edward Whitacre, Jr., former head of AT&T Inc. who will temporarily take over as CEO while a global search for a new permanent replacement is conducted.



Henderson is married to wife Karen Henderson and has two daughters, Sarah and Emily Henderson.[5]


  1. ^ BBC: GM chief Wagoner ousted by Obama; March 30, 2009
  2. ^ Ray Wert: Carpocalypse. Fritz Henderson To Take Job Of Interim GM CEO; from; Retrieved 30 March 2009.
  3. ^ Julia Kollewe, Andrew Clark: Obama ultimatum on aid drives GM chief from office; on March 30, 2009. Retrieved 30 March 2009.
  4. ^ GM: GM Statement on Auto Industry Restructuring; Statement on March 30, 2009. Retrieved 30 March 2009.
  5. ^ a b David Welch, Gail Edmondson, William Boston: Toughest Job Yet For This Mr. Fixit. Stanching the red ink at GM-Europe may take Fritz Henderson quite a while; BusinessWeek, November 15, 2004. Retrieved 30 March 2009.
  6. ^ American City Business Journals: Biographie Frederick A. Henderson im Sales & Marketing Center
  7. ^ Bill Vlasic: Frederick A. Henderson; in: New York Times. Retrieved 30 March 2009.
  8. ^ Noelle Knox: GM plans to slash up to 12,000 jobs in Europe; USA Today, October 12, 2004. Retrieved 30 March 2009.
  9. ^ Reuters: Henderson, Frederick. Brief Biography. Retrieved 30 March 2009.
  10. ^ The Financial Times: Frederick (Fritz) Henderson; April 12, 2006. Retrieved 30 March 2009.
  11. ^ "'New' GM is born". CNN. 2009-07-10.  
  12. ^

External link

Business positions
Preceded by
Rick Wagoner
President of General Motors
Chief Executive Officer of General Motors
Succeeded by
Edward Whitacre, Jr.


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