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PHOTO CAPTION: Denise Gray in GM's battery lab in Warren, Mi.

GM's Denise Gray Joins Stealth-mode Battery Start-Up in California

Departure seen as another indication of GM's inability to hold good talent.

Published: 25-Feb-2010

General Motors is losing one of the key players on the team developing the Chevrolet Volt — the hotly-anticipated plug-in vehicle that is supposed to forever change the green vehicle market. And where is Denise Gray, director of global battery systems, going? Where else? A battery startup in California.

So far, the company that stole her away hasn’t been identified. Gray only says that she is stepping into a senior management post at a California startup that is still in stealth mode. That rules out battery-switching champion Better Place, as well as Tesla Motors, which has been assembling some of its own battery packs. With limited details available, it could be any number of companies. She didn’t even specify whether she’d be based out of Silicon Valley or Southern California — but we’ll update as soon as we hear.

Regardless of where she is going, her departure is bad news for GM. It not only continues to struggle financially post-bailout, but is having a more difficult time retaining its most talented employees. It’s hard to blame someone for leaving Detroit for California, especially if they have a better opportunity waiting for them. Unable to ratchet up compensation, the company’s hands are tied.

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