The boss of General Motors, the US's biggest carmaker, has been forced out ahead of an expected bail-out announcement by President Barack Obama.
Rick Wagoner, chairman and chief executive, quit at the request of the White House amid a major management shake-up that will see a majority of new directors appointed to the board.
President Obama is expected to unveil restructuring efforts designed to save not only GM but also Chrysler, which have already received $17.4 billion (£12.3 billion) in government loans and have requested $21.6 billion (£15.3 billion) more funding.
The company said in a statement that Fritz Henderson, president and chief operating officer, will take over as chief executive officer, while board member Kent Kresa, a former Northrop Grumman chairman and chief executive officer, was named interim chairman.
The latter said the board has known for some time that restructuring would involve a change in stockholders and create a need for new directors with additional management skills.
The directors who will be replaced have not been determined, but the change will take place at the company's annual meeting in Detroit in August.
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