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| 11:28 PM EST

Neumann Will Run Opel and GM Europe

Karl-Thomas Neumann, a former senior executive at Volkswagen AG, will take over as CEO of General Motors Co.'s Opel subsidiary on March 1.
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Karl-Thomas Neumann, a former senior executive at Volkswagen AG, will take over as CEO of General Motors Co.'s Opel subsidiary on March 1. He will be the unit's fifth chief in just over three years.

Neumann, who began his career as an electronics engineer at VW, also will become president of GM Europe and join GM's executive committee. He succeeds Thomas Sedran, a restructuring expert who took over as Opel's interim CEO last July when the unit's board ousted Karl-Friedrich Stracke after 12 months on the job.

Neumann joined Continental AG in 2004 and became the company's CEO in 2008. He left a year later after a contentious fight to maintain the company's independence from controlling shareholder Schaeffler AG.

Most recently Neumann was CEO of VW's China operations until being shunted aside into an unspecified post in a management shakeup last summer. Rumors that he would take Opel's top job have circulated since November.