When 2009 began, both General Motors and Chrysler were sliding toward bankruptcy. As the year ends, both companies have survived to fight another day.

The same can't be said for their senior executives.

Of the top 10 executives at GM's glass-towered Detroit headquarters in January, only one -- Bob Lutz -- remains.  At Chrysler, only two of the 10 highest-ranking executives are still in Auburn Hills.  

At GM, the churn took a dramatic toll at the vice president level. Of the 55 top executives, including vice presidents and divisional leaders, who were at GM at the start of the year, 26 have left the automaker.  Of the remainder, few remain in the same positions they held, according to a Reuters tally.

The sweep was made near complete on Dec. 1 when the board at General Motors Co parted company with former chief executive Fritz Henderson after he had the post for only eight months.  

Only at Ford did any of the former Big Three -- now called the Detroit Three -- automakers kept the slate of top executives pretty much intact.  Only two of Ford's top 10 executives have left; both retired.