GM’s Matt Tsien to retire; Kent Helfrich tapped as CTO, president of GM Ventures | Automotive News

DETROIT — Matt Tsien, a 45-year General Motors veteran who grew the automaker’s electrification technology in China, will retire this year from his current roles as chief technology officer at GM and president of GM Ventures, the automaker said in a statement Tuesday.

Kent Helfrich, 56, will replace Tsien, 60, as vice president of global research and development, chief technology officer and president of GM Ventures. Helfrich is currently executive director, advanced technology and partnerships. Helfrich’s promotion is effective Aug. 1.

“As we pursue our vision for a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion, R&D and investments in new technologies that support that vision are more important than ever,” GM President Mark Reuss said in the statement. “With Kent’s background and experience, he is uniquely positioned to help bring innovation and technology solutions into our vehicles, manufacturing facilities and operations.”

Tsien will retire Nov. 1. Before his current roles, Tsien led GM China from 2014 to 2020.

Before that, Tsien was vice president of planning and program management for GM China, GM International and Strategic Alliances. He led product planning across the region and helped oversee the growth of the product lineup. He has also been executive vice president of SAIC-GM-Wuling, GM China’s manufacturing joint venture with SAIC and Guangxi Automobile Group, the former Wuling Motors.

“Matt has helped position the company for growth and long-term success. I appreciate his friendship and I wish him all the best in retirement,” GM CEO Mary Barra said in the statement.

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