Ed Whitacre's Postcard From The Auto Bailout
Former General Motors chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre is in the papers today, specifically the Opinion section of The Wall Street Journal, espousing a strong belief that the U.S. Treasury should get out of GM's hair as quickly as possible. Whitacre's sentiments come, no doubt, as a response to the recent news that GM has been pressuring the Treasury to sell off its remaining 500 million shares of the company's stock.
It was only last week when Reuters reported that Ed Whitacre, Jr. told the media that General Motors IPO shares would "likely to be priced between $20 and $25 in the initial public offering by the automaker in November." GM didn't respond immediately, but now, like a judge giving instructions to the jury to disregard a courtroom outburst, The General is essentially saying "ignore everything you just heard."
The more things change, the more... you know what we're trying to say. Just last week, longtime AT&T guru and then interim General Motors CEO Ed Whitacre was able to ditch that pesky 'interim' modifier and became the king of the hill at GM. Of course, that was last week. This week we're getting reports that Ed Whitacre (who, curiously enough, was the president of the Boy Scouts of America from 1998-2000) will be out of the RenCen in two to three years.
While early rumors suggested that this morning's surprise news conference at General Motors' Renaissance Center might be to confirm the sale of Saab to Spyker, the big news emanating from the company's Detroit headquarters is that Ed Whitacre Jr. is scrubbing 'interim' from his door plaque and instead taking the title of permanent CEO.
2009 isn't quite over yet, but we're pretty sure most automakers would rather forget that it ever happened. And while General Motors and Chrysler suffered the pain and humiliation of bankruptcy and workers lost thousands of jobs and many plants and dealerships closed, the good news is that the General and the Pentastar are now more fiscally healthy than they've been in ages. The bad news is that it cost U.S. taxpayers an estimated $82 billion to save what has been called hundreds of thousands of
General Motors wants to prove to you that their vehicles are up to snuff, and The New York Times is reporting that a new marketing initiative aims to get more customers behind the wheel of GM cars and trucks. The General's rumored Satisfaction Guaranteed program promises to give customers their money back within 60 days if they're not completely satisfied with their purchase. The new sales tool, which will reportedly begin Monday and run through November, may mark the first time a major automake