New Opel CEO Neumann to take helm on March 1: source

HAMBURG Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:43am EST

Karl-Thomas Neumann, then chief officer for electric traction for Volkswagen Group of America, speaks during a demonstration of a driverless car at the Volkswagen Automotive Innovation Laboratory at Stanford University in Stanford, California in the file April 15, 2010 photo. REUTERS/Kevin Bartram

Karl-Thomas Neumann, then chief officer for electric traction for Volkswagen Group of America, speaks during a demonstration of a driverless car at the Volkswagen Automotive Innovation Laboratory at Stanford University in Stanford, California in the file April 15, 2010 photo.

Credit: Reuters/Kevin Bartram

HAMBURG (Reuters) - Opel's new Chief Executive Karl-Thomas Neumann will take office on March 1, four months sooner than expected, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters, confirming a magazine report.

German weekly Der Spiegel had earlier said Neumann's former employer Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) was unexpectedly letting the manager out of his contract before it expires on June 30.

"That is correct," the source said on Sunday.

Volkswagen and Opel declined to comment.

Sources had told Reuters in November that Opel may appoint Neumann as CEO this year as parent company General Motors (GM.N) aims to revamp its loss-making European business.

(Reporting by Jan Schwartz; Writing by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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