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Unexpected Retirement from Top GM Lawyer

In an unexpected move, General Motors on Friday announced the retirement of its top lawyer, Michael P. Millikin, who has been a central figure in the automaker’s safety crisis and a target of congressional critics calling for broad reforms at the nation’s largest automaker, Reuters reported.

G.M. said Mr. Millikin, who joined the company in 1977 and has been its general counsel for five years, would retire early next year.

No explanation was given for his departure, but G.M. said it would immediately begin a search of external candidates to replace him.

Mr. Millikin, 66, emerged as an important strategist and close adviser to Mary T. Barra, G.M.’s chief executive, in the aftermath of the company’s acknowledgment that it failed to recall millions of defective small cars for more than a decade.

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