GM Restructures Accounting Ranks

The automaker's controller and chief accounting officer both plan to leave.
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Shares of

General Motors

(GM) - Get Report

tumbled more than 5% Wednesday after the automaker said it will restructure its finance division after the departure of two top accounting executives.

GM said its controller, Paul Schmidt, plans to retire later this year after 37 years with the company. Following his retirement, GM plans to combine its controller and chief accounting officer positions.

As such, the company's current chief accounting officer, Peter Bible, will resign to "pursue other career options," effective June 1.

Along with the departures, GM said it hired financial advisory firm AlixPartners to help with a "broad range of accounting, financial reporting and related matters," including assessing internal controls and implementing steps to improve them.

The moves come after GM has made a series of accounting missteps, including revisions to its quarterly results and a restatement dating back several years. The automaker disclosed last fall that its accounting methods were under investigation by federal regulators.

"One of our key objectives in finance is to minimize risk," said Chief Financial Officer Fritz Henderson in a statement. "To that end, we are moving quickly to make sure that we have a robust level of internal controls and systems in place -- and AlixPartners has tremendous expertise to support this initiative."

GM shares were recently down $1.30 to $24.23.