General Motors’ Corvette brand will lose its chief at the start of next month when Tom Wallace retires amid rumors of an indefinite hold on development of the C7 Corvette. His successor, Gene Stefanyshyn, is currently the vehicle line executive of rear-wheel-drive vehicles at GM, and will add the Corvette chief job to his duties.

No further comments on the future of the C7 Corvette program were forthcoming upon the confirmation of Wallace's retirement, reports Edmunds, but Stefanyshyn's appointment to the job indicates there is some future for the brand, however indefinite it may be at this point. The news of Wallace's retirement was announced by Corvette Racing Program Manager Doug Fehan at a museum event this weekend honoring the history of Corvette Racing.

Wallace began his career at GM initially through its Buick division back in 1970. He held several engineering positions focusing on engine technology and played a key role in the development of the turbocharged Buick Grand National coupes of the early 1980s. He has also competed in a number of GM-sponsored drag meets and road races, making him suitable for a position at the iconic Corvette brand.

Wallace only took the reins at Corvette in 2006, replacing Dave Hill as Corvette chief engineer and vehicle line executive (VLE) for performance cars. His relatively sudden move could be explained by rumors concerning the next-generation C7 Corvette, which could be indefinitely delayed due to upcoming CAFE regulations as well as GM's own financial problems, however the carmaker is yet to confirm the news.

Insider sources have revealed that the C7 was originally planned to be introduced in 2012 for the 2013 model year but this is now unlikely to happen, being pushed back until 2014 at the earliest. To make matters worse they claim senior management does not have a clear roadmap for the car’s future, which could have also influenced Wallace's decision to retire from Corvette.

Previously, Wallace revealed that GM was already working on the next-generation Corvette, and that the current C6 would get an update in 2010. While he didn't go into detail, he was adamant that there would be a successor to the current Corvette - although a timeframe for this occurring appears to be getting lengthier and lengthier.