Government General Motors loses another CEO

This is not a surprise.


General Motors CEO Henderson out

Has run company since March, board chairman to be interim replacement

General Motors Co. CEO Frederick “Fritz” Henderson stepped down Tuesday after the board determined that the company wasn’t changing quickly enough.

Chairman Ed Whitacre Jr. said at a hastily called news conference that he will serve as interim CEO, and an international search for a new CEO and president is planned.

Whitacre thanked Henderson for his work during a period of challenge and change, but said it is time to accelerate the pace of rebuilding the largest U.S. automaker.

The resignation comes just eight months after Henderson, 51, replaced former chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner, who was ousted March 29 by the Obama administration’s government’s auto task force.

Henderson has been with GM his entire career and was the government’s choice to run the beleaguered company after Wagoner left. Whitacre, picked by the government in June to be chairman of the new GM, is considered an industry outsider, having run AT&T Inc. for 17 years.

Whitacre and the board have become increasingly active in the company’s decisions, at times challenging some of Henderson’s decisions. In November, the board voted to abandon plans to sell GM’s European Opel unit. That reversed an earlier option favored by Henderson to sell it to a consortium led by Canadian auto parts supplier Magna International Inc.

“Based on the determination of the board and the pace of the change in the company, it was determined that it was best to initiate a change in direction,” spokesman Chris Preuss said.

An Obama administration official said in a statement that “this decision was made by the Board of Directors alone. The Administration was not involved in the decision.”

I happen to have a bridge for sale, and you can put tolls on it, too, for any of you who believe that the Obama Administration “was not involved.”

Government General Motors’ biggest problems are that:

  1. There are people like me who will not ever buy another GM vehicle, now that the government owns it; and
  2. GM builds crap.

I’m thinking that the second problem might be a bigger one, but, it’s also important that someone like me, someone who actually has a job and will eventually have to buy another truck, is simply not available to GM as a potential customer, even if they do improve the quality of their junk.

7 Comments

  1. I’m sure the Bond Holders are happy about this. Wait, the BO Administration just cast them aside even though they had first dibs on GM. I guess that was just a silly law BO didn’t like.

  2. The other problem is that people don’t have money to buy new cars. They’re going to make their old cars last as long as possible.

  3. This seems to be a scenario from out of an Ayn Rand novel. The government puts more controls over industry, with the idea of “improving” it, and the industry just gets in worse and worse shape. What potential CEO is going to want to work at GM now, knowing that, with the government essentially being his “boss”, he’ll be fired in a few months as well?

  4. There are people like me who will not ever buy another GM vehicle, now that the government owns it; and
    GM builds crap.

    Not everything they build is crap. Cadillac has some good products and the Corvette is a world class supercar that can go head to head with Ferraris and other top end sports cars. But most of their products are dull and mediocre, and there’s little incentive for them to improve now the gov’t is running the show.

  5. Actually, I don’t think GM builds crap either. I agree with Eric. Other than the Cadillac line and the Corvette (which I own and love), the cars GM puts out are just boring and bland, but not crap.

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