General Motors Corp. Chief Operating Officer Frederick "Fritz" Henderson has been one of the auto maker's top troubleshooters for nearly a decade, tackling overhauls at one sick GM unit after another. Now, Mr. Henderson will face the job of trying to salvage the whole company.

Mr. Henderson, 50 years old, will take over as GM's chief executive officer as early as Monday, following the forced resignation of Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner, 56. Mr Henderson became GM's chief operating officer about a year ago, following a stint as chief financial officer that began in January 2006.

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