The stock price is down, the pension plan faces a $30B shortfall, sales are in a freefall, Delphi faces bankruptcy, and the situation with the UAW remains unchanged. That's a brief rundown of the challenges currently faced by GM's board of directors, a group that doesn't seem to be willing to engage in the type of "board activism" that ousted former chairman Robert Stempel in 1993. So, why hasn't the board made any similarly big moves yet? That's the question on the minds of many in the auto industry. It could be a sign of the board's confidence in GM's current leadership, or it could be due to the fact that the board generally lacks in-depth experience in automotive matters. If Kirk Kerkorian gets his way and successfully places his aide Jerry York on the board, then things could get interesting very quickly. The last time the board shook things up, they ended up with John Smale in charge. He helped to save the company from bankruptcy but also brought the concept of "brand management" and presided over continuously-slipping market share. It would seem that a similar selection won't cut it this time.



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