• Dec 8, 2008
He may have gotten his money, but it looks like General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner didn't make any friends in Washington during the process. Over the weekend, Senator Chris Dodd (D-Connecticut) remarked on CBS' Face the Nation that the vertically gifted CEO should "move on". He did not specify, however, whether or not Wagoner's resignation would be baked into the $15-17 billion aid package that the House and Senate will vote on this week.

Dodd is chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs committee that grilled all three Detroit CEOs last week, and at times during the questioning seemed sympathetic to the plight of each CEO. Nevertheless, more scrutiny has been cast on Detroit's request for government assistance than another other industry, especially the financial industry that seemingly gets tens of billions of dollars from Congress for batting its eyelashes and giving its best come hither look. We know of no financial institution that has sacrificed its CEO at the altar of public appeasement, though Wagoner's record as CEO of GM from 2000 to the present does him no favors.

Meanwhile, President Elect Obama appeared on Meet the Press yesterday and suggested auto executives should lose their jobs if they don't end their "head in the sand" approach to decision making.

[Source: BusinessWeek, Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty]


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  • 49 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago

      I think the late Roger Smith might be more at fault for GM's decline than Rick.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Smith is the biggest c*nt ever to have lead a corporation. He almost single handedly destroyed General Motors and every successor, competent or not has had to deal with the aftermath of Smith. F*ck Roger Smith straight to hell.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Roger Smith? Definitely.
        • 6 Years Ago
        +1 about Nasser ruining Ford.

        In addition to his terrible business sense at trying to remake Ford on the internet bubble model he was also a PC racist who thought ovaries and skin color were more important than ability and qualification. Promoting managers on that basis gives every bit the results you'd expect it to.

        • 6 Years Ago
        Roger Smith is GM's Jacques Al-Salawat Nasruddin Nasser. I believe Nasser would go down as the Ford's family's biggest mistake in history. The guy is one of the main reasons why Ford is in it's situation today. He is a reason why Ford, who now makes good quality cars and is still improving their products along with their business, has a bad perception problem in its North American market. His cost cutting strategy in both product and the supplier base had brought down the quality of the vehicles and also the lack passion in other nameplates outside of Trucks and SUV's. Even though Volvo and Mazda have been good investments for Ford (mainly in a production, product, and engineering stand point), it still made Ford almost bleed dry of their cash reserves.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Oh and Nasser has the audacity to think he could have Ford acquire BMW and Honda. The guy should have never been an Automotive CEO...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Pot, meet kettle.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wagoner may be an incompetent ass but Dodd is a complete t*at. But it's always nice to have someone more incompetent than yourself to point a finger. What a d*ckhead.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "Meanwhile, President Elect Obama appeared on Meet the Press yesterday and suggested auto executives should lose their jobs if they don't end their "head in the sand" approach to decision making."

      Wouldn't that be the equivalent of voting "Present" Mr. Obama?
      • 6 Years Ago
      And I had to send that one twice. Grrrrr!
        • 6 Years Ago
        They must have some sort of flood control on this board.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I don't understand why these guys don't come back at congress and remark about how well they have screwed things up.

      Well, I do, perhaps after they get their money they will speak up.

      What a mess all the way around...
      • 6 Years Ago
      It's the culture of GM that needs to be "fired", not the CEO. He's the tip of the iceberg and little more than a "talking head."

      You'd have to dump most of senior management and more than half the Board to get any semblance of new ideas.

      At least Ford was smart enough to hire someone from outside the industry and he's done a decent job of culture change.

      GM is so inbred I'm surprised the company theme song isn't the theme song from "Deliverance."
      • 6 Years Ago
      #1 to each of those posting before me
      • 6 Years Ago
      It appears that Congress and President Elect Obama have been reading the same automotive press / forums etc. that pretty much listed during the past 10-15 years everything that GM needed to do but failed to recognize or act upon (Too Many Brands, Poor Products, etc.). I don’t know if the powers that be in GM were just being smug or maybe they really are that incompetent, either way Rick will need to go. He had the opportunity to be a catalyst of change and right the wrongs within GM that date back to the days of Roger Smith and that have been GM’s game plan moving forward since then. If GM get’s the money, GM’s Board of Directors needs to be booted also.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Dodd and Wagoner should get into bed together. They're a perfect match! the bottom feeders in their respective industry.
      • 6 Years Ago
      OK maybe I don't think Rick Waggoner has done such a bang up job either, but for Chris Dodd, noted auto analyst and paragon of virtue (remember Dodd got one of those pesky sub prime loans a few years ago) to call on Waggoner to move on is the height of hypocricy.

      Remember Dodd is one of a hundred "consultants" who sit by idly year after year while our Federal government spends itself into oblivion (in fact, he has added some of those infamous "earmarks" to magnify the problem) and who helps appoint and confirm the idiots who run the Federal bureracracy, many of whom fly around the country in tax payer subsidized jets and look down on the chaos of a Hurricane Katrina or who oversee procurement procedures which allow the DOD to live with cost overruns of 300 to 400%!

      Waggoneer may be an incompetent: Dodd is a pandering idiot!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Paul-- re "why you would loan to them escapes me":

        Here's why: Dodd and Barney Frank told Fannie & Freddy to encourage "sub-prime" loans to those who couldn't afford them as a de facto government social program since a report from the Fed in 2005 had made it clear that the Democrat-created GSEs known as Fannie/Freddy weren't having their desired effect of keeping mortgages low and had no real reason for being, esp. after fraudulent management behavior was revealed.

        A nudge-wink from Frank & Dodd and Fannie/Freddy's new mission was to buy all the sub-prime loans they could. Hence the huge move by lenders in 2006 to make worthless loans; they didn't care if they could be repaid or not since they were immediately selling those loans to Fannie/Freddy.

        That irresponsible action eventually was the fuel that fired today's credit crisis, which is what is really killing the auto companies. Ironic, no? Wagoner should be the one asking Dodd to resign...

        Source:
        http://www.q-and-a.org/Program/index.asp?ProgramID=1197

        • 6 Years Ago
        Dodd got a preferred rate loan, FAR different than a sub-prime loan.

        Sub-prime loan = for people with terrible credit (why you would loan to them escapes me)
        Preferred Rate Loan = for important people with great credit (a group that i understand giving a preferred rate to as they typically with have more valuable houses and you can make more money off of them even at a lower rate)

        There are plenty of things to criticize Dodd for, this is not one of them.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Last post went under the wrong subject, still getting used to this new board software.

        --


        Dodd got a preferred rate loan under a program for people with great credit whereby the bank makes more money off that loan?

        Please. Dodd got a Friend Of Angelo (Mozilo, the Countrywide CEO) rate loan under a program to butter up the Senate Banking Committee and make sure they didn't do anything about the subprime fraud that was making Angelo rich.
      simpson
      • 6 Years Ago
      So let me get this straight. The guy who is working fof $1 a year is to be fired and then the govt. would have them hire which exec. that will work for that salary? I can't believe they can find another exec. to run GM for less than multiple hundreds of thousands even more than a million. Let's see, that must be the same logic from congress who said they would build a capitol visitor center in 4 years for 37 million dollars but then took 8 years and an overrun to $621 million. I'm sorry Mr. Dodd, but this is a case of "Physician, heal thyself." Also, if you note Mr. Dodd's appearance on Good Morning America on Monday morning he made it clear he was referring to all 3 auto execs, not just mr. wagoner. Truth is Wagoner is not only the smartest guy to take GM through this but also the cheapest executive they will find and no one mentions the accomplishments he does have under his belt...vast product improvement to the point that GM now holds every car of the year award given out (malibu, cts and opel insignia), drastic restructuring of health care cost for retirees (veba trust), tough new contract with the UAW and an aggressive globalization of GM's business that is the envy of toyota, bmw and everyone else. Mistakes sure, throw him out....not a smart move by a longshot.
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