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Daniel Akerson, GM's new CEO

Akerson pushed GM to boost production of the highly anticipated upcoming Chevy Volt electric vehicle.  (Source: GM-Volt)
Questions of leadership remain, but the company does appear to be recovering

Amid a round of disappointing earnings reports from Cisco and others, General Motors actually had some good news to report yesterday.  Following it's May report of an $865M USD profit -- its first profit since Q2 2007 -- GM has posted an even bigger profit, announcing a net income of $1.3B USD on a revenue of $33.2B USD.

GM is also sitting on a stockpile of $32.5B USD in cash -- leftovers from bailouts received from the U.S. and Canadian governments, in addition to revenue for the sales of its laggard brands like Hummer.

That was the good news.  The somewhat troubling news for GM was its announcement that CEO Ed Whitacre was stepping down.  The quiet Texan had masterminded the company's turnaround drawing on his long history of success as a senior executive, and eventually CEO at AT&T.

The news reportedly stunned GM insiders.

Equally surprising, perhaps, is the choice for his successor.  Whitacre will be replaced by former Nextel CEO Daniel Akerson.  Akerson, currently a private-equity firm where he is a managing director with the Carlyle Group, currently serves on GM's board.

Akerson is a firm proponent of electric vehicles.  As public buzz and anticipation grew about the 2011 Chevy Volt, Akerson pushed hard for GM to increase production 50 percent.

Some are optimistic about the appointment.  As a board member, Akerson showed he wasn't afraid to sack people, pushing for Henderson's resignation.  Steven Rattner, former head of the White House auto task force, comments, "He's a no B.S. kind of guy, just like Whitacre.  His whole operating style is the antithesis of the old GM. It is hard for me to imagine a better choice."

But some fear that he's too much of a financial man and lacks the necessary experience to lead GM optimally.  Paul T. McCartney, a managing director of Heritage Search Partners Inc. in New York comments, "[His whole career] "has been focused on making the numbers as best as you can and [then] 'let's move on with the company in some other form.'  [He isn't] going to lay out the strategic future of General Motors."

From a purely statistical perspective, the odds merely of Akerson keeping his position seem slim -- GM has had four CEOs in just a year and a half.

However, it's critical that Akerson prove a decisive leader.  GM is on the verge of announcing a initial public offering of stock to repay the U.S. and Canadian governments.  That offering has now been put on hold as account executives responsible for it reportedly race to change the documentation -- something which gives you the idea of how unexpected Whitacre's departure was.

If Akerson can pull together and repay the government via a successful offering he will offer vindication to Democratic President Barack Obama and his predecessor, Republican President George W. Bush, who both chose to bet on GM, bailing the company out at the taxpayer's expense.  Such a success would certainly elevate Akerson into the annuls of automotive executive history.

However, if the IPO disappoints and GM falters, don't be surprised if Akerson becomes the latest GM chief to see the door slam behind him.



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RE: Well duh
By Reclaimer77 on 8/13/2010 12:08:53 PM , Rating: -1
quote:
What's next? McDonalds goes belly up and we (the taxpayers) bail them out too? Where do we draw the line?


Well there's no way in hell Obama would let Mickie D's go under. They employ way too many African Americans. :-)

*ducks*

lol relax Lib's. It was a good joke and you know it.


RE: Well duh
By FITCamaro on 8/13/2010 12:23:33 PM , Rating: 1
Not even really a joke today.

He tried to exempt menthol cigarettes from the cigarette tax increase. Who smokes the most menthols?

Every major piece of spending legislation passed in the past 20 months has had provisions to give precedence to minorities. Even the health care bill had parts in it to effectively create affirmative action for medical schools.


RE: Well duh
By Masospaghetti on 8/13/2010 12:53:31 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
He tried to exempt menthol cigarettes from the cigarette tax increase. Who smokes the most menthols?


If what you are hinting at is true, wouldn't he really just be condemning them to a life of disease and premature death?


RE: Well duh
By danrien on 8/16/2010 9:57:44 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If what you are hinting at is true, wouldn't he really just be condemning them to a life of disease and premature death?


Hahaha that is good.


RE: Well duh
By ClownPuncher on 8/13/2010 3:00:35 PM , Rating: 2
He must be part Mexican too.


RE: Well duh
By hr824 on 8/13/2010 3:49:19 PM , Rating: 1
You think that was funny eh? Not to surprising though, racist always think their racist jokes are funny to everyone. I assure you that I don't secretly think your so called joke is funny at all.


RE: Well duh
By Quadrillity on 8/13/2010 4:07:54 PM , Rating: 1
race jokes are race jokes... It's obvious he wasn't being offensive if he points out the fact that he is making a joke about it. Too many people get offended when others make stereotype jokes. Lighten the f*** up dude...

I'm white. Go ahead and make all the white jokes you want to, and I'll sit back and enjoy them because I bet none of them apply to me. See how easy that is? And I'm being serious, send your best white jokes.


RE: Well duh
By Reclaimer77 on 8/13/2010 5:25:32 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
You think that was funny eh? Not to surprising though, racist always think their racist jokes are funny to everyone. I assure you that I don't secretly think your so called joke is funny at all.


Nah I just knew when I made it some miserable joyless uptight loser such as yourself would bite. Ahhh, you made my day. Even after I made it blindingly obvious what I was going for, you still took the bait.

I notice you didn't make a post similar to this when everyone was making fat jokes in that other article. Why is it ok to pick on one segment of people and not another? You're a bigot, that's why :)

I just blew your mind. Now go ponder your misplaced judgment.


RE: Well duh
By hr824 on 8/13/2010 11:21:52 PM , Rating: 1
Who took the bait? That was easy, predictable, and fun all at the same time.


RE: Well duh
By MamiyaOtaru on 8/15/2010 4:36:39 PM , Rating: 2
LOL I TROLL U


"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007














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