General Motors CEO Dan Akerson says heads might keep rolling despite GM profits.
The automaker lost money in Europe, broke even in South America and enjoyed a strong quarter in North America, resulting in second-quarter earnings of $1.5 billion.
That was 10-consecutive black-ink quarters, the longest string in at least a decade. While earnings were down 41 percent from a year ago, they were better than Wall Street expected.
GM stock jumped in the morning, after the automaker's earnings announcement, but closed Thursday at $19.14, down 52 cents or 2.6 percent.
Also unexpected: Akerson said he'll keep shuffling, even firing, top managers until GM results improve. The company's current condition is "not acceptable to this leadership team," he said.
"Change always comes faster" from people with fresh perspectives, Akerson said, so "from time to time, it will mean parting company with people who are not delivering results."
Akerson told Wall Street analysts in a conference call: "In recent weeks, you have seen we would not hesitate to act."
He was referring to the high-profile dismissal of global marketing boss Joel Ewanick last weekend and sudden replacement of short-time European operations and Opel chief Karl-Friedrich Stracke in mid-July.
In reference largely to the money-losing European operation, Akerson said, "In the past, we haven't moved fast enough to fix the things we could control. But that's changed."
GM has hired executives from Volkswagen to help fix Opel, he noted.
In late July, GM said it had reorganized global vehicle development, hoping to remove a layer of management and accelerate decision-making.
Bringing a new car or truck to market can take four years or more.
In that time, tastes might change or another company might launch a blockbuster model that makes competitors' new offerings irrelevant.
GM's earnings details:
Net income was $1.5 billion, down from $2.5 billion a year earlier. Revenue slipped to $37.6 billion, from $39.4 billion.
North American operations earned $2 billion, down from $2.2 billion.
Europe lost $361 million, vs. a profit of $102 million a year earlier.
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