Corrects month that Henderson was named CEO of GM, paragraph 4

DETROIT - General Motors Co's board of directors fired Chief Executive Fritz Henderson on Tuesday, saying it wanted to chart a new course as the top U.S. automaker pushes ahead with its restructuring.

GM Chairman Ed Whitacre will become interim chief executive as the automaker begins the search for Henderson's replacement.

The ouster of Henderson, a career GM executive who became CEO just eight months ago, came after a meeting of GM's 13-member board in Detroit.

Henderson assumed the top job at GM in March after his predecessor, Rick Wagoner, was forced out by the Obama administration as part of the U.S. government-funded restructuring of GM.

The board decided -- and Fritz agreed -- that given where we are, it was time to make some changes, GM spokesman Chris Preuss said at a hastily arranged news conference.

(Reporting by David Bailey, writing by Kevin Krolicki; editing by Patrick Fitzgibbons and Matthew Lewis)