General Motors is replacing the executives in charge of communications and human resources as it struggles with a string of embarrassing recalls that have led to congressional hearings and federal investigations.
Communications chief Selim Bingol and human resources head Melissa Howell are leaving the company to pursue other interests, the company said Monday in a statement.
John Quattrone, currently executive director of human resources, will replace Howell, but GM has yet to name a replacement for Bingol, the statement said. The changes are effective immediately.
GM spokesman Greg Martin said the moves are not linked to the recalls. He attributed them to CEO Mary Barra, who took over in February, making her own hires in key positions. The changes are part of what any company expects during periods of transition, and Mary is building her own team, Martin said.
Also Monday, Barra promised employees on a company blog that the company’s senior leadership will react quickly to tips from employees about safety problems.
Study reveals jump in online info theft
The number of Americans who say they’ve had important personal information stolen online is on the rise, according to a Pew Research Center report released Monday.
According to the survey conducted in January, 18 percent of online adults have had personal information stolen such as their Social Security number, credit card or bank account information. That’s up from 11 percent in a July 2013 Pew survey.
The number of adults who had an online account compromised or taken over without their permission – such as email or social media – remained flat at 21 percent.
US businesses boost stockpiles 0.4 percent
U.S. businesses increased their stockpiles in February as sales rebounded by the largest amount in nine months.
Stockpiles increased 0.4 percent in February following a similar 0.4 percent increase in January, the Commerce Department reported Monday. Sales rose 0.8 percent in February, bouncing back after a 1.1 percent sales decline in January that was blamed on the harsh weather that month. It was the biggest one-month sales gain since last May.
While the economy slowed in the January-March quarter, many economists are looking for a strong rebound in the current quarter.
Congressional report targets e-cigarettes
Concerns about electronic cigarettes, including flavors and marketing that could appeal to young people, underscore the need to regulate the fast-growing industry, according to a congressional report released Monday.
The report written by the staff of Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, California Rep. Henry Waxman and others highlights several issues including the lack of age restrictions and no uniform warning labels for the battery-powered devices that heat a liquid nicotine solution and create vapor that’s inhaled.
While the Food and Drug Administration plans to set marketing and product regulations for electronic cigarettes in the near future, for now, almost anything goes.