Zarrella Departs GM for Bausch & Lomb

NEW YORK — Ron Zarrella, executive vice president and president of North America for General Motors Corp., Tuesday announced his resignation and said that he will rejoin Bausch & Lomb as chairman/CEO.

Zarrella, 52, who was president of the Rochester, NY-based eye care company for ten years before joining GM in 1994 as group vice president of sales, service and marketing, replaces William Waltrip, who served as interim chairman and CEO after the departure of William Carpenter earlier this year.

In a conference call, Zarrella said the reason for his move “was simple: I wanted to be CEO, and I wasn’t going to be a CEO at GM.” At one point he added that GM “didn’t move fast enough [in] a lot of what we’ve done.”

Robert Lutz, vice chairman of GM product development, will become chairman of GM North America. Gary Cowger, group vice president of GM manufacturing and labor relations, will be president, GM North America.

Zarrella most recently developed the successful “Keep America Rolling” zero-percent financing campaign in response to faltering consumer confidence following the events of Sept. 1