Stracke was in charge of GM’s global engineering operations

General Motors named Karl-Friedrich Stracke CEO of Opel/Vauxhall, effective April 1.

Stracke, 55 and a 32 year GM veteran succeeds Nick Reilly, who continues as the head of GM's European operations. Reilly will chair the Opel supervisory board.

“The European market and our European operations are important to General Motors, and these moves will ensure that we have the best leadership in place as we continue toward growth and profitability,” said Dan Akerson, GM chairman and chief executive officer.

Stracke has led global vehicle engineering for the last year and a half.

“I am excited to lead a company with such a rich German heritage at this time in its history,” Stracke said in a press release. “Opel/Vauxhall has a great workforce and an exciting and innovative product portfolio. I’m looking forward to a thriving future.”

In addition to serving on the Opel Supervisory Board, Reilly will also oversee Chevrolet and Cadillac in Europe. Reilly joined GM Europe in November 2009 after running GM’s International Operations based in China for three years.

Stracke will be replaced in his global engineering role by John Calabrese, executive director Global Vehicle Engineering. Calabrese joined GM in 1981. He has held several key leadership positions in GM’s global engineering operations.