Heads Could Roll (Finally) at GM

Could Whitacre (right) oust Henderson?

Could Whitacre (right) oust Henderson?

This is what I like to see!

Finally, we’re getting a little take-charge-or-get-out attitude from a boss at GM. Rick Wagoner sure couldn’t do it, and now Fritz Henderson doesn’t seem to have the ability, or desire, to step up and lay down the law either.

I’ve been thinking GM is doomed to repeat bankruptcy someday, only next time it’ll be the liquidation kind. That’s the most logical outcome when leaders refuse to hold their employees accountable for a company’s products, performance, and profits, something Mr. Henderson has thus far not publicly done.

I guess it’s easier to sit back, remain complacent, and assume the government will come to the rescue again and keep the cozy exec positions at GM intact.

Well, thank goodness for Ed Whitacre, Jr. GM’s new chairman has delivered a harsh, blunt, and very much needed message to his executives: Make changes quickly, a lot of them, or face the consequences.

According to the Detroit Free Press, Whitacre, in a meeting with executives, was

“frighteningly direct” in conversation, making it clear that every top executive’s job at the automaker is on the line, and that heads could roll in the next two or three months if there’s not significant progress in vehicle sales, market share and profitability.

So in just three short months we’ll see one of two things from the General: Big changes or heads rolling out the front door.

There is a third possible outcome, I guess: that Whitacre’s threat is nothing more than a bluff to inspire change that is very unlikely to actually happen.

My money’s on executives getting fired soon and Whitacre finally reversing the direction of GM. Anyone think I’m wrong?

-tgriffith

1 Comment

  1. OK, heads roll.

    Then what? Another suit steps forward to replace the empty one that preceded it.

    GM needs a Sergio Marchionne to come in from the outside and whip things into cappuccino-like froth by introducing new product that galvanizes the American car market’s great silent majority.

    I wish I could say that Ford’s CEO (ex Boeing) has done that for the Blue Oval with his own outsider credentials.

    But he hasn’t (yet). So Ford hasn’t (yet).

    To use a cliche with respect to GM, time will tell.

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