General Motors – drama queen no more? Whitacre is CEO

Armadillos love basking in the sun with their tuff shells shining

Let’s face it, even Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan have to get tired of being known as drama queens.  General Motors has been shooting themselves in the foot for years and wondering why they were bleeding.

It came to a head in November, 2009. Henderson was fired by the U.S. government made Board, with Ed Whitacre in charge. The drama was fierce: the firing happened the night before the Los Angeles auto show. Henderson was the keynote speaker and every media personality had their 15 minutes lined up with him.

It was a time for General Motors to finally get California onboard. They were going to bring out relevant good product, which was so needed by them. With California making up thirteen percent of the nation’s car sales they could use California. Year-over-year the sales had gone down anywhere from 42-55 percent for Buick, Cadillac, Chevy and GMC.

But the drama continued. Till today.

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Ed Whitacre has just come out and said that he will be the CEO of General Motors.

Are people inside General Motors happy?

I think people inside GM are tired of feeling like the drama queens of the industry. They just want to work for a living with a leader that has a long-term goal with short term objectives showing the way.

Ed Whitacre says General Motors will pay back the loans to the Government – is that a good thing?

Because of bankruptcy and production pared to demand GM is making money. They will create a secondary offering (IPO) to fund their operations.

Once again, people inside General Motors like this. They want people to stop calling them Government Motors.

How long will Whitacre keep the job?

“I don’t know”, said the tall Texan in his long Southern drawl, “I didn’t come into it with that intention”.  But from someone who came from a conservative corporation (I used to work at Chevron) this limelight is fun.

Armadillos love basking in the sun with the tuff shells shining

Does it matter that Whitacre doesn’t know “anything about cars”?

That was Whitacres own words in his first commercial to the world. I wrote that it only mattered if he knew about cars if he was going to be CEO.

Well, now he is CEO. How quickly can Whitacre go from being a CEO of any corporation to a CEO of a corporation whose sells depend on emotional impulse?

What does Whitacre get in salary?

As Chairman of the Board Whitacre gets $150,000 a year.

As a Board member he gets $200,000 a year

The amount he will get as CEO is yet to be determined.

What did Whitacre get at SBC/AT&t?

A CNBC piece said that Whitacre walked away, in the mid-2007s, with $158 million in cash and stock. They calculated that to be about $7.9 million a year in cash. He also got $26,889 in auto benefit’s and $24,505 in club memberships.

What does Ron Bloom, the head of the government’s auto task force think?

In a press conference Bloom said, “We also, obviously, note that the company has removed the word, interim from Mr. Whitaker’s title.  He is now serving as the CEO.  We were not involved in that decision.  That was the decision by the board of directors of the company, as we’ve said before, a very excellent group of men and women who are responsible for the corporation’s affairs and we certainly wish Mr. Whitaker well in this very challenging endeavor he’s taken on.  He’s been serving as the interim CEO.  We remain in regular contact with the company to continue to monitor the taxpayer’s investment and we’re very hopeful that Mr. Whitaker will do an excellent job in his new title.”

By | 2017-03-22T08:05:26+00:00 January 25th, 2010|Categories: Auto industry news, Automobiles and Energy, Automotive executives, GM, Manufacturers|0 Comments

About the Author:

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a member of the North American Car and Truck of the Year (NACTOY), Women's World Car of the Year (WWCOTY), and the Concept Car of the Year.