By Keith Laing - 04/14/14 02:04 PM EDT
General Motors announced a series of leadership changes on Monday after weathering bad publicity for widespread auto recalls that have been issued this year.
GM said Monday that its senior vice presidents of Global Human Resources and Global Communications and Public Policy, Melissa Howell and Selim Bingol, respectively, were departing the company immediately.
Howell is being replaced by John Quattrone, who had been GM's executive director of Human Resources for Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain organizations, according to the company.
Barra did not make any mention of the recall controversy in a statement praising Quattrone on Monday.
"John brings to the job a deep and rich breadth of experience across all levels of the enterprise," Barra said. "This background is invaluable as we create lasting change that puts the customer at the center of how we work and how we measure ourselves going forward."
The company is coming under fire for its decision to delay recalling vehicles that were in some cases a decade old, until February of this year. The recalled cars were mostly older models like the Chevrolet Cobalt and Saturn Ion that were found to have a dangerous ignition switch flaw.
The recalled ignition part has been linked to the death of 13 car crash victims since 2005.
Barra praised the departing employees for their contributions to the auto company, even as she has promised in prior appearances to create a "new GM" that would place a higher emphasis on auto safety.
"Through Melissa's passion, the values that make up today's GM are now becoming a central part of how we develop and guide our employees around the world," Barra said of Howell. "We are deeply grateful for her dedication to GM and all that she did to help build a stronger HR function to support our people and business.
"We appreciate Selim's service and for his helping tell the GM story during one of the most exciting periods in the company's history," Barra added about Bingol.