While a search for a suitable successor remain ongoing, the largest US automaker – General Motors – decided to extend the stay of its top lawyer, Michael Millikin, until July.
GM has decided to extend the tenure of a highly controversial company figure, with Milikin’s unit being publicly criticized for the way it handled the carmaker’s scandalous ignition switch recall. Back in February last year, GM acknowledged that it was at least a decade late to recall 2.6 million older cars with defective ignition switches, with the legal department interfering in the internal quest to ascertain if the flaw was life-threatening. Following an internal investigation, personnel from Millikin’s department was let go – but many critics arose to the conclusion that the top lawyer had no prior knowledge of the defect and what his employees were doing.
According to the company, Millikin, 66, will extend his stay with GM until July, with availability for “consulting services” until the beginning of 2016, revealed a footnote in the company’s quarterly financial report sent last week to the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Back in October 2014 the automaker announced his retirement early in 2015 – but he will now continue as general counsel until a successor can be found. According to the company, Millikin was not being pushed out of the company and even chief executive officer Mary Barra asked him to remain longer with the company. General Motors is still being investigated by state and federal prosecutors for alleged wrongdoings related to the defective ignition switch, and sources have reported that the legal department is still under review as part of the larger case against the automaker.