With GM now searching for a permanent CEO, the hunt will be unlike any the auto industry or the folks in Detroit have seen before.
For decades, U.S. automakers have promoted from within and the primary focus has been improving or, in recent years, fixing the company's North American business.
GM is looking for a CEO with extensive experience or expertise running global manufacturing firms. In particular, GM would love the next CEO to understand how to grow and leverage operations in Asia.
Makes sense, given the fact China has become the #1 auto market in the world, and India is growing at a rapid pace as well.
This is not to say GM will hire someone who has little knowledge or understanding of the U.S. market. This is still the most profitable auto market in the world and with Uncle Sam owning 60% of GM, making sure General Motors remains #1 at home will be critical. But, make no mistake; the auto world no longer revolves around Detroit alone.
In fact, the next CEO at GM will truly be a "global CEO", much as Carlos Ghosn is for Renault-Nissan. He or she will be charged with keeping GM #1 in China and the U.S., while also growing sales in India, Russia, Brazil and other developing markets. Add in the complexity of figuring out when to mix in alternative powered vehicles.
One thing is certain. The next GM CEO will be focused on Shanghai as much as he is main street U.S.A.
Click on Ticker to Track Corporate News:
- Ford Motor
- Toyota Motor
- Honda Motor
Questions? Comments? BehindTheWheel@cnbc.com