David Bonderman Part of New GM Board

DETROIT (Reuters) – General Motors Co, which emerged from bankruptcy earlier in July, on Thursday announced a small senior executive team to lead its attempted turnaround and the final members of its board, which include private equity expert David Bonderman.

GM said the directors appointed by the U.S. and Canadian governments had been confirmed on the board of the new company formed by the sale of the automaker’s best assets out of bankruptcy.

Bonderman, co-founder of TPG TPG.UL, is one of the most influential figures in the U.S. private equity industry.

He has experience fixing struggling businesses — he made his name helping to pull Continental Airlines (CAL.N) out of bankruptcy in the 1990s and turning the airline around.

GM, which is now majority-owned by the U.S. Treasury, is not publicly traded. Executives and U.S. officials have said the automaker could have an initial public offering as early as next year.

The latest GM leadership announcements, which include the departure of six executives, are among the first steps GM is taking after its emergence from bankruptcy, and a promise from Chief Executive Fritz Henderson to shake up the automaker’s often-criticized corporate culture.

Henderson has promised to strip away layers of management at the 100-year-old automaker to make decisions much more quickly than in the past.

GM plans to cut its white-collar workforce by more than 20 percent by eliminating 6,000 jobs by October. Cuts in the executive ranks are expected to be even deeper at 35 percent.

The automaker replaced two senior leadership forums with one smaller executive committee led by Henderson.

The committee includes Vice Chairman Bob Lutz, global product development chief and Vice Chairman Tom Stephens, the head of international operations Nick Reilly and Chief Financial Officer Ray Young.

The other members are Tim Lee, head of global manufacturing and labor relations; John Smith, head of corporate planning and alliances; Mark LaNeve, vice president of U.S. sales and Bob Socia, global purchasing chief.

GM also announced several executive departures and new jobs for other executives. Global manufacturing chief Gary Cowger, 62, and GM North America President Troy Clarke, 54, are among executives slated to retire.

Other retirements include Maureen Kempston Darkes, 60, group vice president, GM Latin America, Africa and Middle-East, and Ralph Szygenda, 60, chief information officer.

GM said the new directors were elected on Monday. They join eight other directors on GM’s board, which includes Chairman Ed Whitacre, former chairman Kent Kresa and Henderson.

The Treasury, which holds more than a 60 percent stake in GM, designated Daniel Akerson, Bonderman, Robert Krebs and Patricia Russo to the board.

Akerson is managing director of private equity firm Carlyle Group, and Russo is former chief executive of Lucent Technologies.

The Canadian government and the government of Canadian province Ontario, which hold 11.7 percent, have designated Carol Stephenson to the board.

Board members who are not GM employees will receive a $200,000 annual cash retainer.

The automaker also is held 17.5 percent by a United Auto Workers union retiree healthcare trust and creditors from the old GM, now called Motors Liquidation Co, hold a 10 percent interest.

(Reporting by Soyoung Kim and David Bailey, additional reporting by Megan Davies in New York, editing by Matthew Lewis and Carol Bishopric)