Sunday, March 29, 2009

Rick Wagoner Quits General Motors

Update: According to a White House official, Wagoner was asked to leave by the Obama administration. Scapegoating has begun.


Developing story: Rick Wagoner, CEO of General Motors is said to have stepped down. While there has been no official announcement yet, Bloomberg is citing "people" familiar with the situation. Wagoner has not given a reason for the sudden and unexpected departure at this crucial juncture, 2 days ahead of the auto task force report on US automaker viability. Previously Wagoner said he has no intention of departing the company prior to a successful restructuring. "I do it because it’s important and I feel like I have a responsibility to do it," Wagoner said. "I plan to stay here until we get things well in shape and on track and beyond that, we’ll see."

It is curious if, based on his action, things at GM are finally "well in shape." Seeing how March SAAR numbers, to be released in a few days, will likely be sub-9 million (assuming the government doesn't use some fantastic seasonal fudge factor it has been so fond of lately), I somehow highly doubt it. Sphere: Related Content
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Anonymous said...

teflon rick melting under pressure?

Anonymous said...

Obama took out a "hit" on Wagoner on the behest of the United Auto Worker's union.

Anonymous said...

Im surprised he lasted this long. For sure Obama said "look, in order for us to prop up your dead company, you gotta go. Its that simple"

Anonymous said...

ubelievable...the govt. now forcing CEOs to step down even when they have the support of the board. I think this represents a new, dangerous low in the crisis and resulting intervention. Capitalism has died many times over the past 24 months, but this represents a new low. As a American, I feel greasy and violated.

Unknown said...

The American automobile industry has been in secular decline for nearly 30 years. GM has gone from a 50% (U.S.) share in 1980 to its current ~20%(ish) share. Wagoner has been CEO since 2000. Right.

Do we know someone in China who can request the resignation of the President, the House, and the Senate before they (China) lends us anymore money?

abbot & jintaobao said...

"Do we know someone in China who can request the resignation of the President, the House, and the Senate before they (China) lends us anymore money?"

Hu's on first?
third base.
no, Hu's first.
What about Zhao?
Zhao's in left field.

eh said...

GM's problems are not new. Their market share has been declining for years, and Wagoner has been unable to reverse that. So it's hard to see the Administration's insistence on a new figurehead entirely as "scapegoating". Although given that, as I understand it, they've asked another long-time GM'er to take his place, your charge is not totally without foundation.

Anonymous said...

Market share be damned. Of course, Wagoner needed to go…BUT that shouldn't be the decision of the US Govt. Anyone else, really troubled by the fact our govt. just removed a CEO!!

eh said...

Yes, I agree the whole bailout mess has been handled sorrily by the government. They should have gotten well-publicized equity stakes at every capital injection, including seats on the board, as justifed. From there they could, wholly and properly, exercise influence over personnel, including removing the/a CEO.

It'll be interesting to hear the inside story on this.