Management Turnover as Change Agent

Sunday, March 29, 2009

It's Official, Rick Wagoner, GM CEO Resigns

General Motors’ board and shareholders have for too long time failed to get Rick Wagoner to resign as its CEO and chairman but the Obama Rick WagonerAdministration appears to have had the final say. Just prior to the Obama Administration’s newest announcement on what it intends to do with the American Automobile Industry planned for Monday news has come out that Wagoner will resign. According to a story by Justin Hyde and Tim Higgins of the Detroit Free Press,

President Barack Obama’s rescue plan for Detroit automakers will be unveiled Monday, but one condition became clear today: the resignation of General Motors Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Rick Wagoner.

As a condition for additional government aid to GM, the Obama administration asked Wagoner to step aside, which Wagoner agreed to do today, people familiar with the plan said. Wagoner’s move, effective immediately, ends a 31-year career with GM.

…. It was not clear who would replace Wagoner; chief operating officer Fritz Henderson would appear to be the most likely candidate. GM declined to comment.

We are certain many auto analysts will assert that the CEO change right now is a mistake. I fail to agree. While it is very late in the game for this change, it is about time. I have been calling for resignation for a long time. Wagoner has shown throughout his career a keen understanding of the overall auto industry but he has failed miserably over the last five years to turn GM in a proper direction and deserves to leave. Let’s all hope the White House has a handle on what they might be able to do to save the industry and its hundreds of thousands and even possibly millions of auto-related jobs.

Stay tuned as we continue to follow this story and the travails of the American auto industry.

For more:

NY Times

City News

Mercury News


Globe and Mail 3/30

Wall Street Journal 3/30

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