DETROIT - General Motors' CEO Frederick "Fritz" Henderson will step down after eight turbulent months as head of the largest U.S. automaker, people familiar with the matter say.
The company's chairman of the board, Ed Whitacre Jr., will serve as interim replacement, say these people, who requested anonymity because the news had not yet been announced.
Henderson, 51, succeeded Rick Wagoner on March 29 after the Obama administration ousted GM's former CEO as the company worked through a government-led reorganization.
Henderson spent the next few months working with the government to reorganize the automaker outside of bankruptcy, but eventually took the company into Chapter 11 protection in June.
With the government's help, the company emerged from court protection in just 40 days cleansed of massive debt and burdensome contracts that would have sunk it without federal loans.
Henderson continued to downsize the automaker after its emergence from bankruptcy. He sought to scale down GM to just four core brands: Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC.
While he has largely succeeded in that goal, attempts to sell the company's other brands have hit obstacles.
The company is winding down Pontiac and was successful in winning a tentative sale of Hummer to a Chinese construction machinery maker.
However, Henderson's bid to sell Saturn to racecar mogul Roger Penske fell through and the brand is now liquidating. Last week, Swedish sports car maker Koenigsegg Automotive AB dropped out of a deal last week to buy Saab.