• Dec 1st 2009 at 4:45PM
  • 100
Well, that was quick. Fritz Henderson, the recently appointed CEO of General Motors, is stepping down. Company chairman of the board Ed Whitacre (remember the "Satisfaction Guaranteed" commercials, that's the guy) is set to act as the interim CEO until a permanent replacement is found.

This marks the second CEO that beleaguered automaker General Motors has lost this year, the first being Rick Wagoner, who was asked to resign by the Obama Administration's Task Force for Autos. Over the last few months, deals that GM had made to offload Opel, Saturn and Saab have all fallen through, and some have reported on clashing styles between Whitacre and Henderson.

General Motors has just confirmed the news via a press conference being held as we speak. Stay tuned for more as we learn it.

UPDATE: Official Statement from Ed Whitacre, GM's new interim CEO, added after the jump.

[Source: Free Press, GM | Image: Philippe Lopez/Getty]


GM Statement Attributed to To Chairman Ed Whitacre

At its monthly meeting in Detroit today, the General Motors Board of Directors accepted the resignation of Fritz Henderson as Director, President and CEO of the company.

Fritz has done a remarkable job in 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 needed to be made. To this end, I have taken over the role of Chairman and CEO while an international search for a new president and CEO begins immediately. With these new duties, I will begin working in the Renaissance Center headquarters on a daily basis. The leadership team – many who are with me today – are united and committed to the task at hand.

I want to assure all of our employees, dealers, suppliers, union partners and most of all, our customers, that GM's daily business operations will continue as normal. I remain more convinced than ever that our company is on the right path and that we will continue to be a leader in offering the worldwide buying public the highest quality, highest value cars and trucks. We now need to accelerate our progress toward that goal, which will also mean a return to profitability and repaying the American and Canadian tax payers as soon as possible.

In closing, I want to once again thank Fritz Henderson for his years of leadership and service to General Motors; we're grateful for his many contributions. I look forward to working with the entire GM team as we now begin the next chapter of this great company.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Great, now we are left with the creepy old guy, the Crypt Keeper Ed Whitacre.

      • 5 Years Ago
      How many millions of taxpayer dollars is he taking with him. I am sure he has some kind of severance package.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Chicago-style Socialism at work, my friend....

        If you hate your grandchildren, vote Hopey McChange in 2012!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I see no fanboy has yet addressed my post.

      How is this not yet ANOTHER failure for GM, and yet ANOTHER step towards a second bankruptcy? Answer that.

      And try to engage in a real, adult-level conversation. I know that my be hard for Detroit Fanboys to do, but do try, Detroiters.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Brian: I thought you wanted an adult conversation. I guess that was too much to expect from you. You just don't have the ability.
        • 5 Years Ago

        get a life and go buy Atlas Shrugged and read it.

        First of all, having CEO changeouts so often is a sure sign of weak management.

        Secondly, GM got a massive bailout and they're still not making good numbers.

        Thirdly, they're trying to bail out a sinking tanker with a 50 foot wide hole in the side, with a plastic bucket. It's not going to work, and they need to abandon ship and let it sink. GM can make a nice coral reef by liquidating all their assetts back to the taxpayers. Let the union greed get what it deserves.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Haha, that's funny....you of all people suggesting that we use adult-level conversation. Tell me this: how does the loss of an executive at any company instantly mean the company has "failed" or that the company is heading towards bankruptcy. Answer? IT DOESN'T.

        Companies "lose" execs all the time (voluntarily or not) without the company "failing" or heading to bankruptcy. Look at Home Depot: They fired Bob Nardinelli over his performance. Did the company fail or go into bankruptcy? No. Katsuaki Watanabe was asked to step down as President of Toyota but that company hasn't failed or gone bankrupt. Honda got a new CEO this year too, but it has neither failed nor gone bankrupt. The GM board was unhappy with Fritz's performance plain and simple. Quit trying to read into something that isn't there.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Matthew: You're right, in a normal, healthy company having CEO changeouts so often is a sign of weak management. In a company in bankruptcy or having just come out of bankruptcy, not so much. Often there is an interim-CEO that gets the company through the bankruptcy process, which is in effect, what Fritz was. Did anyone realistically think Fritz was going to be a long term solution? Heck, Whitacre said a couple months ago that Fritz was on thin ice.

        On your second point, you still fail to grasp the idea that a massive bailout does not instantly mean they should be making good numbers or even profit. Don't even try to pass that statement off as sarcasm again because it's quite obvious you believe that to be true.

        On your third point, who would buy the assets? The Chinese? You go the liquidation route, you'll never get your money back. What's done is done. The best thing to do now is wish them the best, not to sink in more money, and hope the company has the product and streamlined structure needed to maintain itself. To sit back and chant "let them fail" well after the fact is just pointless.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I agree with the decision. How can you reorganize a company with all the same people still in charge that caused the company to go under in the first place? The only difference is that they have a new job title. Remember when Ford did that for a little while, then they brought in Mullaly who didn't have no connection with the auto industry...now look how he's turned the company around?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Not really defending Nardelli, because I think he sucks for what he did to Home Depot, but he had NO time to do ANYTHING with Chrysler.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Minimum Bob" Nardelli was clueless at Chryslerberus.
        • 5 Years Ago
        yeah and chrysler did that with nardelli and it worked wonders!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Perhaps they will bring in someone from outside the automotive industry I guess.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Good riddance for some odd reason i just never cared for him or about him !
        • 5 Years Ago
        I never cared for his ties.
      • 5 Years Ago
      What a circus. Why would anyone buy a car from this company?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree. I definitely would not.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sara Palin is available.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Well, since she got that oil pipeline completed she is more qualified than you to run a manufacturing company. And she sold the state jet so she wouldn't be caught in "jet gate". She would have to sell her VW though and drive a GM vehicle.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well, here we go again....This guy looked scary to me, something about his eyes.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Can we have a civilian Chevy Caprice now?
      • 5 Years Ago
      For the love of God, just hire Carlos Ghosn already.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This surprised me, but I'm glad it happened.
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