GM CEO Henderson Resigns After Saab, Saturn Deals Collapse
December 1, 2009 11:45 PM
comment(s) - last by
GM's new CEO Fritz Henderson has called it quits after only 8 months after the job, after deals to sell Saab and Saturn collapsed.
GM will now be headed temporarily by board chairman Ed Whitacre, a former AT&T executive who famously remarked, "I don't know anything about cars."
Fritz Henderson's daughter Sarah reportedly let loose a rant on Facebook after the announcement.
Some believe that Bob Lutz, a current GM vice chairman who has served with all three Detroit automakers will be picked as CEO. Mr. Lutz, a former jet fighter pilot, will take over for Mr. Henderson at tomorrow's LA Auto Show keynote address.
(Source: Detroit News)
GM's recovery hits a roadbump with an executive shakeup, but Whitacre, Lutz seize reins
Late Tuesday news broke that the new CEO of General Motors, Fritz Henderson, was
after only eight months on the job, reportedly by mutual consent. The move took the automotive industry somewhat by surprise as Mr. Henderson had been
personally endorsed by President Obama
and had helped see the automaker
out of bankruptcy
and onto an aggressive path of improved sales and
ahead-of-schedule loan repayments
So what went wrong? Industry insiders in Detroit say that while the previous GM CEO, Rick Wagoner, was given nearly unlimited freedom before the bankruptcy, the government and board essentially strangled Mr. Henderson with too tight a leash.
The board (and U.S. government) became disenchanted with Mr. Henderson as he appointed GM insiders to pivotal executive positions, declining to bring in fresh blood. Mr. Henderson blamed pending government curbs on executive pay. He received more flak over a poorly received ad campaign featuring GM board chairman Ed Whitacre and an abruptly canceled
eBay sales experiment
Most recently the ceiling really caved in when GM's deals to
collapsed. While both GM and the buyer share the blame in both of these failures, GM's inability to provide the buyer with enough resources was reportedly a common complaint between both ex-buyers.
Ed Whitacre, a former AT&T Inc CEO and current GM board chairman, announced Mr. Henderson's departure at a hasty press conference in Detroit. Describes Mr. Whitacre, "Fritz has done a remarkable job leading the company through an unprecedented period of challenge and change. While momentum has been building over the past several months, all involved agree that changes need to be made."
Mr. Whitacre, 68 years old, says that he will serve as GM's interim CEO until a more permanent replacement is found. He refused to answer questions from journalists at his press event, but said that business would continue "as normal" at the automaker. Mr. Whitacre is infamous for his quote, "I don't know anything about cars."
Mr. Henderson's daughter, Sarah Henderson, reportedly released a
after the announcement according to the auto blog site
. The authenticity of Ms. Henderson's comments has not been confirmed.
The job search will likely be complicated by the fact that pay for the position has been restricted by the Obama administration's so-called "compensation czar", Kenneth Feinberg. According to Mr. Whitacre, the government played no direct role in Mr. Henderson's decision to step down.
One possible executive candidate is current
Vice Chairman Bob Lutz
. While certainly an industry insider, Mr. Lutz has spent time at all three Detroit automakers and thus isn't considered old blood. He's known for his vocal and blunt style that has at times run him into trouble, but has also earned him many fans. Mr. Lutz will step in for Mr. Henderson tomorrow at GM's LA Auto Show keynote address. Richard Change, an automotive journalist with
The New York Times
that the signs may point to the selection of "Maximum Bob" as the new GM CEO.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: I wonder
12/2/2009 9:27:59 AM
Looks like the govt shouldn't have given them one dime, & just let them fold back in 2008. What a mess, & here I was thinking that they were getting back on track. I hate to say it as all my cars have been from Honda or Mitsubishi or Toyota. Looks like that will probably continue in the future. I was really hoping for the sake of America that GM got themselves straightened out. Well, atleast Ford looks to be in a good position. When you take govt bailout you are going to be a puppet, just how it goes.
"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton
GM Source: No Bids on Saab, GM May Kill Brand Next Week
November 27, 2009, 6:58 PM
GM Hopes to Partially Repay Government Loans by Year's End
November 11, 2009, 12:32 PM
Only the Good Die Young: GM Kills Saturn Brand
October 1, 2009, 9:06 AM
GM to Sell Cars on eBay
August 10, 2009, 9:25 AM
GM's Lutz Talks About the Chevy Volt's $40,000+ Price Tag
August 3, 2009, 3:20 PM
NHTSA Expected to Announce Vehicle-to-Vehicle, Advanced Braking Plans by End of Year
December 18, 2013, 11:11 AM
Porsche Macan V6 Diesel Bound for the U.S.
December 17, 2013, 10:36 AM
GM Could Release New EV, Updated Chevrolet Volt in 2016
December 16, 2013, 11:30 AM
Ford Says 70% of its Cars Will Have Start-Stop Tech by 2017
December 16, 2013, 10:57 AM
EPA Says Vehicle Fuel Efficiency Has Hit All-Time High
December 13, 2013, 10:04 AM
Carbon Fiber to Lower BMW i3 Repair, Insurance Costs
December 12, 2013, 2:12 PM
Most Popular Articles
China's Lunar Rover Enters Orbit, Prepares for Historic Sat. Landing
December 13, 2013, 5:00 PM
Metro-Enabled Firefox Browser Expected to Land After Two Years of Work
December 12, 2013, 5:21 PM
The History of Normandy: How Nokia Plotted a Low-End Android Line
December 11, 2013, 8:12 PM
Ten Senators Sponsor Bill to Scrap Corn Ethanol Market Manipulation
December 13, 2013, 1:52 PM
China's Moon Rover Lands Safe and Sound, Starts Snapping Pics
December 16, 2013, 1:22 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
Global Cyber Espionage Concerns Reveal Growing Cyber Armies
Nov 29, 2013, 11:04 AM
Is The Period Becoming an Expression of Anger?
Nov 26, 2013, 2:02 PM
NSA and Congress -- You Will Never Kill the Constitution, It's an Idea
Nov 10, 2013, 2:00 PM
AT&T Explores $100B+ USD Deal to Acquire Vodafone's European Operations
Nov 4, 2013, 7:34 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2013 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information