Google’s Jens Peter Clausen steps in to lead GM Manufacturing; Software and Services EVP Mike Abbott stepping down for health reasons

DETROIT – General Motors today announced the retirement of its long-serving executive vice president of Global Manufacturing and Sustainability, Gerald Johnson, after a distinguished 44-year tenure at the company. Replacing him as the new executive vice president is Jens Peter (JP) Clausen, an industrial leader with vast expertise in global manufacturing, product engineering and scaling operations. GM also announced that Mike Abbott, executive vice president of Software and Services, will be stepping down due to health reasons.

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.”

Johnson is esteemed for his instrumental role in bolstering GM’s manufacturing and labor relations. He was pivotal in effecting a major cultural transformation that underscored leadership, process discipline, continuous improvement and waste elimination. He is a widely respected leader who spent significant time on the shop floor and could often be heard saying, “Every day in a plant is a good day.” As a champion for diversity, equity, and inclusion, the generational impact Johnson leaves behind extends beyond our employees to our customers and communities as well.

Stepping in to lead Global Manufacturing and Sustainability at GM is JP Clausen, who brings a strong track record of manufacturing, innovation, and operational excellence. He spearheaded the rapid scaling of electric vehicle propulsion systems at Tesla’s Gigafactory 1 and played a crucial role in making EVs more accessible. His expertise also extends to biomanufacturing. At Zymergen, he automated gene manufacturing and fermentation technology to deliver sustainable materials. He also led a financial turnaround at LEGO by simplifying the product and component portfolio, and at Google Data Centers, as vice president of Engineering, he drove groundbreaking technological innovation, product development, and process optimization.

Barra expressed her confidence in Clausen, stating, “JP’s unique expertise in global manufacturing innovation, engineering, and operations will accelerate our ability to deliver on our vision for GM with the highest quality vehicles for our customers. We are excited to welcome him to the team and know that his contributions will be instrumental to our future.”

Mike Abbott will be leaving GM to care for his health. Since he arrived at GM last May, he has led significant advancements in the company’s approach to software design, development, execution and quality testing. Abbott also expanded the Software and Services leadership team by recruiting vice presidents with backgrounds from Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta and Microsoft.

“Mike’s contributions have been invaluable, and I look forward to him remaining part of the GM family as an advisor to me when his health permits. I also have the utmost trust in the strong bench of leaders in place. His recovery is the priority, and we wish him well,” said Barra.

Baris Cetinok, current vice president of Product in Software and Services, has been named the interim head of Software and Services while a search is conducted. Johnson will remain at GM through the end of the year and work in partnership with Clausen for a smooth transition.

General Motors (NYSE:GM) is a global company focused on advancing an all-electric future that is inclusive and accessible to all. At the heart of this strategy is the Ultium battery platform, which powers everything from mass-market to high-performance vehicles. General Motors, its subsidiaries and its joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, CadillacBaojun and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in safety services and connected vehicle technology, can be found at

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