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GM Chair and CEO, Mary Barra Says Gerald Johnson Leaves an ‘Indelible Mark’ on the Auto Giant

Who’s Who in Black is dedicated to recognizing and celebrating the achievements of  Black men and women and recognizes living legends who in successfully navigating their careers have created a blueprint for the fortunate men and women who follow in their footsteps in their own pursuits of excellence. One such individual is GM retiree Gerald Johnson of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. 

General Motors revealed the retirement of its long-serving executive vice president of Global Manufacturing and Sustainability, Gerald Johnson. Johnson, who has served the company for an impressive 44 years, leaves behind a legacy of transformation and excellence. He will be succeeded by Jens Peter (JP) Clausen, a seasoned industrial leader renowned for his expertise in global manufacturing, product engineering, and operational scaling.

The retirement of Gerald Johnson marks the end of an era at GM. Johnson’s tenure was marked by his unwavering commitment to excellence in manufacturing and labor relations. His journey from joining the Fisher Body Plant in Ohio to leading GM’s COVID-19 emergency response highlights his dedication and leadership. Under his guidance, GM underwent a significant cultural transformation, emphasizing leadership, process discipline, continuous improvement, and waste elimination. Johnson’s impact extended beyond the company, championing diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts that left a lasting legacy on employees, customers, and communities alike.

In a statement, Mary Barra, GM Chair and CEO, said, “Gerald’s leadership, vision and relentless pursuit of excellence in manufacturing have left an indelible mark on GM. His impactful journey from joining the Fisher Body Plant in Euclid, Ohio, to his integral role in GM’s COVID-19 emergency response, is a testament to his unwavering commitment and dedication. We are immensely grateful for his over four decades of service and congratulate him on his well-deserved retirement.”

In his place, JP Clausen steps in to lead Global Manufacturing and Sustainability at GM. Clausen brings with him a wealth of experience, having spearheaded the scaling of electric vehicle propulsion systems at Tesla’s Gigafactory 1 and driving innovation in biomanufacturing at Zymergen. His leadership at LEGO and Google Data Centers further solidifies his reputation as an expert in operational excellence and technological innovation. Mary Barra, GM Chair and CEO, expressed confidence in Clausen, stating that his expertise will accelerate GM’s ability to deliver high-quality vehicles to customers.

As Johnson retires, his impact and legacy at GM will be remembered for years to come.

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