During today's Senate hearings of the Detroit 3 automakers, U.S. Senator Robert Bennett (R-Utah) spent much of his time on the mic talking about the cost savings that would be realized if General Motors and Chrysler LLC merged. He argued that prior talks held between the two companies has already laid the groundwork for a merger and that estimates peg annual cost savings at $8-10 billion for the combined company. Bennett then remarked that one reason a GM/Chrysler merger didn't happen the first time around was because many people in upper management, possibly including one of the two CEOs sitting before him, would basically lose their jobs. When asked if he would still want government assistance if Congress made the merger of GM and Chrysler a condition, Nardelli responded, "The first job that would go would be mine, but if in fact that's the criteria that means we would get money to save Chrysler and the people who have worked there for 80 some years, I would do it." Wow.
Of course, we're fairly certain Mr. Nardelli has a decently sized nest egg to fall back on, and we'd jump at the offer to make a graceful exit if we were the CEO of Chrysler, too. Nevertheless, Nardelli's comment came off as sincere and was commended by Senator Chris Dodd (D-Connecticut) who is chairing the hearings.
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