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20 December 2012 | Adam Leach
Grace Lieblein is to take charge of global purchasing at General Motors, moving from her role as managing director of the company’s Brazilian operation.
Lieblein, who has been with the car manufacturer since 1978, has been appointed vice president, global purchasing and supply chain filling the vacancy left by Bob Socia in October when he was appointed president of the company's China operations. She will be responsible for companies supply chain and logistics operations across the globe.
While she has already started in the role, Lieblein will continue to work from Brazil until she relocates to Detroit in early 2013. Over her 34 years with the company, she has held a number of senior positions in engineering, product development and manufacturing.
Speaking to SM, automotive expert John Henke, president of consultancy Planning Perspectives, said it was “slightly odd” that Lieblein has not had purchasing experience at the company but that her vast experience around the world will be “immensely valuable” in the role.
Socia, who started in his new role on 1 October, had been in charge of purchasing at the company since 2009. In this year’s edition of the North American Automotive OEM – Tier 1 Supplier Working Relations Index, produced by Planning Perspectives, GM continued to improve its standing with suppliers. Henke credited Socia as playing a significant role in the improvement.
Following the appointment of Lieblein, Kim Brycz who has been in the role on an interim basis has returned to her position as executive director, indirect materials, machinery and equipment.
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