Tony Francavilla (Photo: GM)

General Motors named Tony Francavilla vice president, global quality, effective immediately.

Francavilla, 58, succeeds Grace Lieblein, who retired at the end of last year. He reports directly to CEO Mary Barra.

In his new role, Francavilla is tasked with assuring that GM vehicles meet the company's high quality standards. “We intend to earn customers for life by delivering exceptional quality,” Barra said in a statement.

Barra became CEO in 2014, the year in which GM had to recall millions of vehicles to fix faulty ignition switches. The mishap resulted in vehicle quality considerations getting an even higher priority than before within the company.

Francavilla has a bachelor of engineering degree in metallurgy from Montreal's McGill University and he obtained an MBA from Niagara University in New York.

He started his GM career in 1979 and has served in various leadership positions since then. Most recently Francavilla worked within the carmaker's quality organization, where he was executive director of global supplier quality. Earlier, he headed GM plants in Lansing and Flint, Michigan.

Said Barra: "Tony’s diverse technical expertise and global leadership experience position him well to further accelerate GM’s progress in every aspect of vehicle quality.”