FreequentFlier
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New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 4:25 am

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=aQ._YJhEj_Jo

THIS is the best the administration could come up with?? Gee, what could possibly go wrong?  Yeah sure

The country's in the very best of hands.
 
Falcon84
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 4:39 am

As usual, making a mountain out of a molehill.

The CEO doesn't make the cars; he doesn't design the cars; he doesn't market it. He hires people who do that for a living for him. He runs the company, and tries to make good financial decisions for the company, and steer it the right way.

An example: Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, runs a company that is very diversified, and operates in 82 countries. He's been running that company for years. He bought the Patriots, and I doubt he had much NFL experience before that. But being a good businessman, he hired the right people to run the football team-football people. That's his job-to hire the best people. He doesn't have to be an expert in the field.

Same with any other company. Gordon Bethune had never run an airline til he took over CO, and turned it into a damn good airline, didn't he?

Again, this is bitching simply to bitch about the President-which is all you ever do on this forum anymore. You want someone who can run a business. The guy who runs the business is tasked with hiring the best people to make the product.

But then again, you know that. Don't act like you don't. You just are using it as a tool to do what you do best-bitch about this administration.

And the act is getting REAL old.
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 4:47 am



Quoting FreequentFlier (Thread starter):
THIS is the best the administration could come up with?? Gee, what could possibly go wrong?

The country's in the very best of hands.

The guy did build SBC Communications into one of the largest telecom companies in the world--it's now AT&T, remember. Clearly he's a pretty phenomenally successful businessman, and those skills are definitely transferable to GM. Also recall that Alan Mullaly, the CEO of Ford, worked for Boeing for his entire career before moving to Ford. He had just as much experience as Whitacre with running an auto company, yet has managed to keep Ford on track through the economic downturn.
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Yellowstone
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 4:51 am



Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 1):
The CEO doesn't make the cars; he doesn't design the cars; he doesn't market it.

And Whitacre isn't going to be the CEO--he's going to be the chairman of the board of directors. So he will have even less of a direct role in managing the company.
Hydrogen is an odorless, colorless gas which, given enough time, turns into people.
 
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 4:59 am



Quoting FreequentFlier (Thread starter):
THIS is the best the administration could come up with?? Gee, what could possibly go wrong? Yeah sure

I believe they said the exact same thing about a CEO that was selected a couple years ago from outside the auto industry. He knew little about the industry and many said he was not a good choice. Of course we here at this site were both bummed that he was selected but knew that he could do very well.

And it turns out Ford made the right choice.... and Alan Mulally has done exceptionally well! Unlike those that were very familiar with the auto industry and came from within the industry and ran Chrysler and GM into the ground.

So cut the guy some slack, let him pull his team together, and see how well he manages the organization. That's what make a good CEO.

Tugg
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L-188
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 5:03 am



Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 1):
Gordon Bethune had never run an airline til he took over CO, and turned it into a damn good airline, didn't he?

I have a feeling that Frank Lorenzo might make a better comparison.
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Aaron747
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 5:05 am



Quoting FreequentFlier (Thread starter):
The country's in the very best of hands.

You know, partisanship is really not becoming of anyone. For all the intellectually worthy things you post, this is just a shot in the foot. Anyone who knows anything about business recognizes that fresh minds are often the best way to give companies a new direction. There are myriad examples already posted here. Keep in mind that Scott McNealy, who knew nothing about programming, hardware, or data storage, came out of Stanford MBA school and turned Sun Microsystems into a global multibillion dollar supplier of high end equipment in less than ten years.

It's nice to actually hold water when you're going to tear someone down.
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cws818
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 5:06 am



Quoting L-188 (Reply 6):
I have a feeling that Frank Lorenzo might make a better comparison.

I fail to see how. The new GM chairman has a record of success in an executive role.
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greaser
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 5:07 am

I don't see what's the big point. The GM CEO often has too many things besides car design for him to worry about. That's what the car design teams are for, so that he need not worry about it. Mulally has no connection with cars besides Ford, and neither do many top CEOs. It's all about running the company, and to be honest many CEO positions do not require specific industry degrees, again that's what a COO is for, if even he or she has one.
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BMI727
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 5:37 am



Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 1):
Same with any other company. Gordon Bethune had never run an airline til he took over CO, and turned it into a damn good airline, didn't he?

Bethune was trained as an engineer.

Quoting L-188 (Reply 6):
I have a feeling that Frank Lorenzo might make a better comparison.

I agree. How well did that turn out.

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 1):
The CEO doesn't make the cars; he doesn't design the cars; he doesn't market it. He hires people who do that for a living for him. He runs the company, and tries to make good financial decisions for the company, and steer it the right way.

But he does oversee those who do? If he doesn't know cars and has never worked with cars, how will he know what is right and what is wrong? Plus, do you think that doctors would like to take their orders from people who have no idea what being a doctor is like and have never worked in a hospital?

The bottom line is that GM is now screwed. This is how they got in such a mess in the first place. It all started to go downhill when the finance weenies wrenched control from the car guys. They had no idea what the difference between a Chevy and a Cadillac was, all they knew was that the volume knob from Chevy was $1.00 cheaper than the one from Cadillac, so they used that for Caddies too.

If you want to make money making cars, you have to have people who know about cars calling the shots.
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UAXDXer
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 6:30 am

You have to admit that this wasn't the smartest thing to say right out of the door. He must have been spending some quality time with Biden.
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 6:44 am



Quoting FreequentFlier (Thread starter):
THIS is the best the administration could come up with?? Gee, what could possibly go wrong?

I think your statement says more about you than Mr. Whitacre.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 10):
If you want to make money making cars, you have to have people who know about cars calling the shots.

And the last few GM CEOs were all hired from within - how did that work out?

Face it, the both of you are poised to crap all over whatever this administration does. Unfortunately for you, most of the electorate disagrees with you. Keep going with your close minded negativity, and continue to not come up with any real ideas of your own, it'll get you a very similar electoral result next time.
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BMI727
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 7:06 am



Quoting Revelation (Reply 12):
Face it, the both of you are poised to crap all over whatever this administration does.

This isn't about politics. This is about the right way to run a car company. I would love to see GM return to its former glory. I don't think Obama needs to be the one to do it, but I do want GM to succeed. I have made numerous posts detailing what I think GM has done wrong and what cars I would use to fix it. This is not about politics.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 12):
Keep going with your close minded negativity, and continue to not come up with any real ideas of your own,

Just about every well run car company came up with the idea before I did. You need car people to build cars. Letting too many accountants have too much say in how a car is built is a great way to build a thoroughly crappy car.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 12):
And the last few GM CEOs were all hired from within - how did that work out?

It isn't about the company, it is about training and mindset. Lutz and Wagoner have their educations in management and economics respectively. This new guy Henderson is a finance dork too, so I expect nothing better.
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 7:38 am



Quoting BMI727 (Reply 13):
You need car people to build cars.

Tell that to Mulally at Ford. Somehow he hit the ground running and realized things needed to change big time before the spam hit the fan. Your "car guys" aren't doing so well, eh?

The guy running my company hasn't written a line of code or designed a circuit ever. In fact his training is in the law. But he kicks ass as a CEO!
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BMI727
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 7:48 am



Quoting Revelation (Reply 14):
Tell that to Mulally at Ford.

You are making my case for me. His first degree was in engineering. Clearly he knows what it takes to build quality stuff and isn't just some accountant trying to find a cheaper floormat.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 14):
The guy running my company hasn't written a line of code or designed a circuit ever.

I think that is an apples to oranges comparison. Are programmers being pressured to use lower quality code by the finance people? Do people have to justify why their programs are the way that they are and are made more cheaply?
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 8:09 am



Quoting BMI727 (Reply 15):
You are making my case for me. His first degree was in engineering. Clearly he knows what it takes to build quality stuff and isn't just some accountant trying to find a cheaper floormat.

But he is definitely not a "car guy".

There's a big difference between Ford and Boeing.

Ford ships many orders of magnitude more units per year, its products cost many orders of magnitude less, it has many orders of magnitudes more workers and suppliers, its products never leave the ground, etc.

Boeing might be able to afford the expensive floormats, but at Ford it's a totally different equation.

You can't say GM needs a "car guy" to run the place when it's clear that folks that aren't "car guys" can do very well indeed. You just want a way to crap on the current administration.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 15):

I think that is an apples to oranges comparison. Are programmers being pressured to use lower quality code by the finance people?

Yes. The pressure takes the form of accepting less code review time and less testing time.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 15):
Do people have to justify why their programs are the way that they are and are made more cheaply?

Sure, we have to justfiy all the time why our work doesn't get outsourced to India or China, where they can still get 3 engineers for each one they can get in the USA.

I have heard our CEO say he has a hard time explaining to the shareholders why we have engineering in the USA when we can get engineers at 1/3rd the price offshore. And it's a damn good question.

In my company, the minute a product is "mature", it will get shipped off to India or China. We still feel that during development phase it's best to keep stuff in the US where the lines of communication between engineering ane marketing are shorter. Other companies I know that deal in more mature technology are more aggressive.
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BMI727
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 8:30 am



Quoting Revelation (Reply 16):
There's a big difference between Ford and Boeing.

Yes, but both need to ensure that a quality product is rolling out the door. Boeing does this pretty well, but Ford has failed. The best person to make sure that a good product is rolling off the line is an engineer.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 16):
In my company, the minute a product is "mature", it will get shipped off to India or China.

Good for your company. You are lucky that you CEO, however he is trained, gets it. The same can't be said for many of the clowns who have been at the helm of the Big Three (and many airlines) in the last few decades.

Quite frankly, American automakers needed to have started serious outsourcing yesterday. There is no good reason for them (or me, now that I'm technically a shareholder) to continue to pay union workers to do what could be done overseas for far less.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 16):
You just want a way to crap on the current administration.

When did this become political? I would say the same about this no matter who is the man behind the curtain.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 9:03 am



Quoting BMI727 (Reply 17):
Yes, but both need to ensure that a quality product is rolling out the door. Boeing does this pretty well, but Ford has failed. The best person to make sure that a good product is rolling off the line is an engineer.

That's way too simple minded.

As I said, my CEO is trained as a lawyer. In his previous life, he dealt with lawsuits from pissed off customers due to poor quality. He really didn't need to know how to write a line of code, or design a circuit, or work a machine tool, to institute programs that improved quality with time. As much as engineers quibble about metrics (and I have been paid to do engineering for over 25 years now), the bottom line is simple things like measuring how many days it takes you to resolve a customer found issue, and then finding ways to reduce that time, do matter, and don't take an engineer to figure.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 17):
Quite frankly, American automakers needed to have started serious outsourcing yesterday. There is no good reason for them (or me, now that I'm technically a shareholder) to continue to pay union workers to do what could be done overseas for far less.

Wrong. It's easy to outsource when we are talking about intellectual property that passes across borders transparently. It's a lot harder to outsource things that involve tangible things, from the US perspective. Why do you think we outsource lots of intellectual property things to India, but Japan and Germany outsources lots of auto manufacturing to the US? Answer: the rules are totally different.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 17):
When did this become political? I would say the same about this no matter who is the man behind the curtain.

Ok, I surrender. I was starting with the thread starters point of view and projecting it onto you, which I now realize wasn't fair after reviewing your postings on this thread. So, I was wrong, and I apologize.
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BMI727
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 9:16 am



Quoting Revelation (Reply 18):
That's way too simple minded.

Perhaps, but who else besides the accountants would allow and encourage the half-baked badge engineering that went on at GM? I doubt that it was an engineer's idea to put a Chevy's radio in a Cadillac, or have three separate versions of the same mediocre minivan, each with their own various confusing trim levels.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 18):
Wrong.

I did forget the differences between material objects and IP. But the fact remains that the costs of American manufacturers have gotten out of control.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 18):
Ok, I surrender. I was starting with the thread starters point of view and projecting it onto you, which I now realize wasn't fair after reviewing your postings on this thread. So, I was wrong, and I apologize.

Some people do try to make this political, which it really shouldn't be. The guy did come out and say that he doesn't know something, so he obviously isn't a politician.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 10:00 am



Quoting BMI727 (Reply 19):
The guy did come out and say that he doesn't know something, so he obviously isn't a politician.

It's a common tactic. I've had several execs take on a new task and tell everyone they know nothing. It enables everyone to put up with every dumb question that any newcomer regardless of rank would have.

BTW, if it makes you feel better, the article in the thread starter says Whitacre has a degree in Industrial Engineering.
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Dreadnought
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:02 pm



Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 1):
As usual, making a mountain out of a molehill.

The CEO doesn't make the cars; he doesn't design the cars; he doesn't market it. He hires people who do that for a living for him. He runs the company, and tries to make good financial decisions for the company, and steer it the right way.



Quoting Yellowstone (Reply 2):
The guy did build SBC Communications into one of the largest telecom companies in the world--it's now AT&T, remember. Clearly he's a pretty phenomenally successful businessman, and those skills are definitely transferable to GM.

 redflag 

Whitacre is from the telecom industry, and is moving to a manufacturing company. As someone who made the reverse move myself, working in management for a manufacturing company for nearly 20 years before making a switch to the telecom industry I am in now, I can assure you that these are two EXTREMELY different industries, with very little in common. Whitacre will spend the next couple of years simply learning the business. GM would have been better off getting a CEO from a cigarette or bubble-gum company - the move from FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) to capital goods (like cars) would be much easier.

This is the typical sort of arrogance we are seeing from this government, putting people in charge of industries who don't have a clue about them, from the 31-year old Yale dropout in charge of the Chrysler/GM restructuring, to the strongarm mafia tactics they used against the banks. They use gag orders to ensure that their victims are not allowed to talk to the press, including the owners and employees of the thousands of dealers they are shutting down. We are going dangerously close to fascism, IMHO. Limited to a couple of industries for now, but where will it stop?
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NIKV69
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:23 pm



Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 1):
The CEO doesn't make the cars; he doesn't design the cars; he doesn't market it. He hires people who do that for a living for him. He runs the company, and tries to make good financial decisions for the company, and steer it the right way.

Well judging how good the last CEO did this guy should be great. At this point GM is done. No matter how much the Obama administration does will not help. GM killed themselves with poor decisions and kneeling to the a horrible union. Nothing can undo the last 20 years and people will only buy Japanese and foreign now. Game over but good try by Obama.
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Aaron747
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:20 pm



Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 22):
Game over but good try by Obama.

Either this is warped sarcasm or you just actually used 'good' and 'Obama' in the same sentence and context. Perhaps the Partisan Iron Curtain is falling??  boggled 

Unfortunately, I can't agree with you as this is one of my largest issues with this administration. GM didn't need saving - they needed failing. Say what you will about saving jobs - they're on the way out one way or another.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 21):
We are going dangerously close to fascism, IMHO.

Whoa boy - better make a run for it Charles! Get abroad again while you still can. You want fascism? The Japanese government tells the local steel and tooling industries which companies and countries they can sell to - and they do it contractually so that it's under the radar. They tell prefectures they have to build airports because of Transport Ministry 'findings of market need', but the citizens in the areas paying for it never get to vote on it.

It's really time to get past these histrionics. As a trained economist myself, I find all of this becoming rather annoying.. One week it's communism, the next it's socialism, the next it's fascism. Can we at least get straight which -ism it actually is?

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 21):
They use gag orders to ensure that their victims are not allowed to talk to the press, including the owners and employees of the thousands of dealers they are shutting down.

What does it matter so long as more members of the Ivy League club get to keep their livelihoods? Don't forget that the folks running the companies being "saved", their lawyers, Team Obama and much of the previous administration all went to the same idea-cabal institutions that spawn this crap. They know we can't do anything about it.
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Dazed767
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:27 pm



Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 1):
You just are using it as a tool to do what you do best-bitch about this administration.
And the act is getting REAL old.

And it will never stop, which is fine, we're all entitled to our opinions. Our republican extremist buddies on here refused to give him a chance since day 1. I rarely post on here, but I notice it's the same people who are the first to post and whine about the administration any chance they get, and your right, it's old. Seriously, grow up.
 
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:39 pm

Well, his predecessors seemed to know a lot about cars and look where GM is right about now! ... Can't get any worse, so maybe bring someone wihtout car knowledge to the lead .. there can only be improvement.
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mt99
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:43 pm



Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 21):
Whitacre is from the telecom industry, and is moving to a manufacturing company.

Maybe we should put "Bob the mechanic" in charge. The guy down the street from my house can assemble an engine with his eye closed. Will that make him a better CEO?

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 21):
As someone who made the reverse move myself, working in management for a manufacturing company for nearly 20 years before making a switch to the telecom industry I am in now, I can assure you that these are two EXTREMELY different industries

The higher up you are in the organizational structure.. the less difference there is.

If you are a good CEO, when you are that high up, it doesn't matter if your company makes Orange Juice or X-Ray machines.
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FreequentFlier
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:52 pm



Quoting Dazed767 (Reply 24):
And it will never stop, which is fine, we're all entitled to our opinions. Our republican extremist buddies on here refused to give him a chance since day 1. I rarely post on here, but I notice it's the same people who are the first to post and whine about the administration any chance they get, and your right, it's old. Seriously, grow up.

Wow, this post has really brought up a lot of the Obama apologists out of the woodwork hasn't it? First, to say we never gave him a chance is fallacy. Unfortunately, somewhere between signing a 787 billion dollar "stimulus" bill (which has been a complete and utter failure) without having read it first, signing a budget bill with tens of thousands of earmarks (after rightly campaigning against earmarks), 9 and a half percent unemployment, multi trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see, and the interest rate on long term Treasury bonds soaring by nearly 100 percent this year, I am no longer interested in "giving him a chance". I know where this administration's incompetence leads and everything the critics have said has been correct thus far. GM and Chrysler went into bankruptcy, Treasury bonds are becoming increasingly harder to sell given absurd deficits and China is literally laughing at Treasury Secretary Geitner when he says our debt is secure and will be valued.

Now, as to the topic at hand, I figured Alan Mullally (who I have great respect for) would come up. Mullally came from Boeing, another capital intensive manufacturing and transportation company. He was also an engineer and presumably knew a great deal about production processes, engines, wind drag, etc. This chairman is from the telecom industry and has admitted he doesn't know the first thing about cars.

So my question again becomes, is this the BEST the administration could do? I don't think that should be a political question. As taxpayers, we have poured 50 billion into this company. I am now a de facto shareholder and I don't approve of learning on the job chairman.

After all, we have a President who is learning on the job (never having run a single thing in his life) and we have 9 and a half percent unemployment and trillion dollar deficits to show for it.

More competence please.  checkmark 
 
mt99
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:55 pm



Quoting FreequentFlier (Reply 27):
He was also an engineer and presumably knew a great deal about production processes, engines, wind drag, etc.

presumably

So you argument is invalid?
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yowza
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 2:09 pm

As others have pointed out his job is to get the right people and pieces in place to help GM. Him not being a "car guy" is totally irrelevant. Given the horrific state of GM it may be best for a total outsider like this guy to take charge and try out of th (car industry) box thinking. The reality is he can't do much worse than previous heads!

YOWza
 
EA772LR
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 2:10 pm

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 1):
The CEO doesn't make the cars; he doesn't design the cars; he doesn't market it. He hires people who do that for a living for him. He runs the company, and tries to make good financial decisions for the company, and steer it the right way.

Which is EXACTLY where American business went wrong. It used be that the CEO of said company new how the product functioned inside and out. He worked his way from the bottom up. Now we have bozos that know nothing about the business they're in, but if they got a business degree from Harvard, they suddenly know how to manage a business they know nothing about.

[Edited 2009-06-11 07:16:26]
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NIKV69
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 2:12 pm



Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 23):
Either this is warped sarcasm or you just actually used 'good' and 'Obama' in the same sentence and context. Perhaps the Partisan Iron Curtain is falling??

Little of both, I mean you knew GM had no shot of getting out of the hole with the money we gave them but I have to admit I think Obama handled it better than I thought he would. I mean it all boiled down to the union who wouldn't budge even after management drove the whole company into the ground. I mean if someone can cut the union out and cut costs and only have a few models that are made halfway decent they can survive but for the most part in this society if someone needs a reliable car first thing they hear is Honda or Toyota. It's just how it is.
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EA772LR
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 2:21 pm



Quoting Mt99 (Reply 26):
Maybe we should put "Bob the mechanic" in charge. The guy down the street from my house can assemble an engine with his eye closed. Will that make him a better CEO?

Actually probably so. What you're saying is essentially the same thing that Holiday Inn Express advertises..."I stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night so I must be smart enough to be a doctor" just like "I got a MBA from Harvard, so I must know how to run an Auto business." Give me a break  Yeah sure
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mt99
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 2:25 pm



Quoting EA772LR (Reply 30):

Which is EXACTLY where American business went wrong. It used be that the CEO of said company new how the product functioned inside and out.

Think about GE.

What does it produce?

Television Shows (NBC), Jet Engines, Medical Equipment, Banking, Wind Turbines, Gas Turbines, Appliances,

http://www.ge.com/products_services/directory/by_product.html

Does the CEO know about EVERYTHING GE is involved in?

Ask him what kind of water filter i need for my refrigerator. I bet he doesn't know. In fact i bet that he cannot even name every single item his company produces
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 2:31 pm



Quoting Mt99 (Reply 26):
Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 21):
Whitacre is from the telecom industry, and is moving to a manufacturing company.

Maybe we should put "Bob the mechanic" in charge. The guy down the street from my house can assemble an engine with his eye closed. Will that make him a better CEO?



On the canvas Charles goes!


The same people arguing that this is a bad mood have one thing in common-they hate Obama. They are not making their dislike of this pick on anythng but that measuring stick. You do NOT need someone to know a product inside and out when he/she steps in to be a good CEO. He hires the right people to do that, and he oversees the functioning of the company.

Sadly, they do know this, but they let their loathing of the President over ride all other sensibilities when it comes to anything involved with him.

It's more a reflection on him than the man who is poised to take over GM.
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Mir
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 2:44 pm



Quoting FreequentFlier (Reply 27):
He was also an engineer and presumably knew a great deal about production processes, engines, wind drag, etc.

Yes, because the job of the GM CEO (or chairman of the board, as the case may be) is definitely going to involve tweaking the designs to minimize wind drag.  Yeah sure

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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 3:00 pm



Quoting Mir (Reply 36):
Yes, because the job of the GM CEO (or chairman of the board, as the case may be) is definitely going to involve tweaking the designs to minimize wind drag. Yeah sure

Well having an MBA doesn't mean you know how to run a business either, especially one you know nothing about. In my business, professional audio, one of our leading competitors was taken over by the former COO of Campbells Soup...and since then their product became bland, looked and sounded the same, and their market share has dropped dramatically...but hey, she had her MBA  sarcastic 
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 3:16 pm

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 23):
Whoa boy - better make a run for it Charles! Get abroad again while you still can. You want fascism? The Japanese government tells the local steel and tooling industries which companies and countries they can sell to - and they do it contractually so that it's under the radar. They tell prefectures they have to build airports because of Transport Ministry 'findings of market need', but the citizens in the areas paying for it never get to vote on it.

Sounds familiar. We are starting to have the same here.

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 23):
It's really time to get past these histrionics. As a trained economist myself, I find all of this becoming rather annoying.. One week it's communism, the next it's socialism, the next it's fascism. Can we at least get straight which -ism it actually is?

All three are varying forms of another "-ism", which is statism - the idea that the state knows better and will either own the means of production and/or try to control them. I agree with you that we sling these words around rather loosely, and I'm guilty of that as well. But that does not negate the serious concern I and others have about a government that is intruding on private enterprise and markets in a truely massive way.

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 23):
Team Obama and much of the previous administration all went to the same idea-cabal institutions that spawn this crap. They know we can't do anything about it.

They might think so, but there is something we can do about it. The Constitution allows for the possibility of amending the Constitution without the consent of Congress or anyone in Washington. It basically requires the legislatures of any 38 states to distribute and pass the proposed amendment. It would be very tough to do, but if we can get the states to even start talking publicly about, let's say, repealing the 16th Amendment, or a new amendment that would stengthen the 10th amendment and more tightly define the Commerce Clause, and if the people (who by the looks of things are starting to get worried) seem to be behind the idea, you should see Washington start to pay attention and pull back on their power grab.

Quoting Dazed767 (Reply 24):
Our republican extremist buddies on here refused to give him a chance since day 1.

Because from day 1 he started to make stupid decisions, such as declaring the closing of Gitmo without a plan, and now he's screwed himself with it. With a few exceptions, he has revealed himself to be led by a very radical and statist ideology that I know has shocked the hell out of people I know who voted for him thinking that he would be more of a centrist - I keep asking them where they got that idea.

Quoting Mt99 (Reply 26):
Maybe we should put "Bob the mechanic" in charge. The guy down the street from my house can assemble an engine with his eye closed. Will that make him a better CEO?

Different industry classes behave differently. You have FMCG, Industrial goods, service industries of all kinds from utilities to transport and tax preparation, durable goods, and so on. Then you have all the variations including branded, generic or commodity products, packaged or bulk, just to name a few. All behave differently, with different drivers, different elasticities and different KPIs to understand.

Quoting Mt99 (Reply 26):
If you are a good CEO, when you are that high up, it doesn't matter if your company makes Orange Juice or X-Ray machines.

I have been at executive level for more than 10 years. My specialty is finance and economics, and I've been CFO for 2 different companies. I can tell you that the telecom world is different than anything I had ever experienced - my head was swimming for a long time and I am still learning stuff every day that the old telecom guys I work with grew up knowing. Trust me - if Whiticker spent his entire career in telecom (I don't know if he's been there ALL his career), he's going to have a long and steep learning curve. I also worry that he comes in with all sorts of ideas and "best practices" that worked well for him at AT&T, and he insists on putting them in place at GM. I've seen that happen when a new CEO came in from the commodity bulk industry into our branded FMCG company, and the result was a disaster of misplaced priorities and frustration - the CEO ended up getting canned 2 years later.

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 34):
Maybe we should put "Bob the mechanic" in charge. The guy down the street from my house can assemble an engine with his eye closed. Will that make him a better CEO?

On the canvas Charles goes!

Only in your mind. Only you could think that I endorsed promoting someone unqualified for the job - in fact thust the opposite. I'm saying you don't hire a lawyer to do brain surgery (same level, different business). You are thinking that I said you don't hire a nurse to do brain surgery (same business, different level). Think about it before shooting off your mouth.

[Edited 2009-06-11 08:24:26]
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mt99
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 3:30 pm

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 38):
All behave differently, with different drivers, different elasticities and different KPIs to understand.

Of course. 3/4ths of the battle is knowing that there is a difference.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 38):
I've seen that happen when a new CEO came in from the commodity bulk industry into our branded FMCG company, and the result was a disaster of misplaced priorities and frustration - the CEO ended up getting canned 2 years later.

So you are saying that never in the history of companis there has never been a succesfull CEO that came from another unrelated industry

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 38):
I have been at executive level for more than 10 years. My specialty is finance and economics, and I've been CFO for 2 different companies.

Again - it depends on how big the company you are running. My friend is a CFO of a 20 people company. In that case course you need to know more about what its going on down on the floor.

But this is GM.. Billions of dollars an tens of thousands of employees and processes. The bigger the company and the higher up you up the more the same it becomes the same.

What does GE's CEO know? Manufacturing? Banking? Network TV? Appliances?

[Edited 2009-06-11 08:36:29]
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 4:11 pm



Quoting Mt99 (Reply 39):
So you are saying that never in the history of companis there has never been a succesfull CEO that came from another unrelated industry

Of course not. But it just makes the job that much harder. There are plenty of branded durable goods companies out there that you could steal CEOs from that would have an easier time of it. Dell Computer, for instance would be an interesting choice. Both are branded consumer goods that depend heavily on componants provided by third parties that also supply competitors, and both have a significant part of their business derived from service as well as sale of goods, both have products that become technologically outdated after a few years. Of course the distribution channel is different but already that's a number of obsticals overcome.

Quoting Mt99 (Reply 39):
But this is GM.. Billions of dollars an tens of thousands of employees and processes. The bigger the company and the higher up you up the more the same it becomes the same.

I agree only to a certain point. If you are in charge of the strategic direction of the company, and you don't have a deep-rooted understanding of the products and customers, you will make bad choices.

Yes, there are some rare individuals who could make the leap. Lou Gerstner for example went from RJR Nabisco to IBM and did well. But that is why people like him make it to the front of Forbes and Fortune magazines and not a whole lot of others - that capability is rare.
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 4:18 pm

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 40):
I agree only to a certain point. If you are in charge of the strategic direction of the company, and you don't have a deep-rooted understanding of the products and customers, you will make bad choices.

You agree with me, yet you dont point out this fact to your buddies here. You keep quiet.

You never mention Lou Gerstner success until now. From Cookies to Computers.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 40):
Dell Computer, for instance would be an interesting choice. Both are branded consumer goods that depend heavily on componants provided by third parties that also supply competitors, and both have a significant part of their business derived from service as well as sale of goods, both have products that become technologically outdated after a few years.

Assuming the CEO of Dell would have been tapped as you suggest. The CEO of Dell could have said the SAME words: "I Don't know Anything About Cars"... And your friends here would still have their panties up in a bunch.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 40):
I agree only to a certain point. If you are in charge of the strategic direction of the company, and you don't have a deep-rooted understanding of the products and customers, you will make bad choices.

For the third time:

What does GE's CEO know? Manufacturing? Banking? Network TV? Appliances?



[Edited 2009-06-11 09:21:47]
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Mir
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 4:48 pm



Quoting EA772LR (Reply 37):
Well having an MBA doesn't mean you know how to run a business either

I agree. So, let's review what we know:

The new GM chairman has an MBA, which might or might not make him qualified. He also has a degree in industrial engineering, which might or might not help with the job. He has a good track record in the telecom industry, which might or might not transfer over to the auto industry. There are examples of people like him failing in similar moves, and there are examples of people like him succeeding in similar moves.

Basically, we know nothing about how this guy is going to do. Yet the thread starter apparently has reached the conclusion that he isn't fit for the job. That seems to be jumping the gun.

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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 5:11 pm



Quoting FreequentFlier (Thread starter):
THIS is the best the administration could come up with?? Gee, what could possibly go wrong? Yeah sure

The country's in the very best of hands.

When I first read this yesterday I thought it was weird.

Then I said to myself, the most important is that this chosen person will run the company properly to get rid of the debt and get it back on its feet.

Wait and see.
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 5:16 pm



Quoting Mir (Reply 42):
Basically, we know nothing about how this guy is going to do. Yet the thread starter apparently has reached the conclusion that he isn't fit for the job. That seems to be jumping the gun.

I can agree with that. I think while FF may have jumped the gun a bit with this new guy, I can certainly understand where he comes from. I've seen my fair share of guys with MBAs who can't run a business they know nothing about any better than my 2 year old nephew.
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mt99
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 5:19 pm



Quoting Mir (Reply 42):
That seems to be jumping the gun.

He is a hysterical Anti-Obama. Standby for the following: his posting of the chart that shows the government debt, mention of Obama's trips, some mention of "messiah", some mention of Miss California, all the but the kitchen sink.
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 5:23 pm



Quoting Mt99 (Reply 45):
He is a hysterical Anti-Obama.

Could he not say that you're hysterically Pro-Obama? What's with you guys and the personal attacks on eachother? He disagrees with you, you disagree with him...quit with all the nonsense put downs!
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 5:24 pm



Quoting Mt99 (Reply 41):
You agree with me, yet you dont point out this fact to your buddies here. You keep quiet.

Uh, I just did...

Quoting Mt99 (Reply 41):
Assuming the CEO of Dell would have been tapped as you suggest. The CEO of Dell could have said the SAME words: "I Don't know Anything About Cars"... And your friends here would still have their panties up in a bunch.

They might also have noted the similarities between the industries and that most of the skills are transferable.

Quoting Mt99 (Reply 41):
What does GE's CEO know? Manufacturing? Banking? Network TV? Appliances?

GE is a special case of a truely diversified conglomerate, and it is the rare person who can handle it. Jack Welsh was up to the job, but he was an extraordinary man. The current monkey in that chair, Imholt (sp?) is neither.

Quoting Mir (Reply 42):
The new GM chairman has an MBA, which might or might not make him qualified. He also has a degree in industrial engineering, which might or might not help with the job. He has a good track record in the telecom industry, which might or might not transfer over to the auto industry. There are examples of people like him failing in similar moves, and there are examples of people like him succeeding in similar moves.

The main issue to me is Telecom. Telecom is very different from nearly every other industry. For example: In what other industry would it be acceptable to have 5% of your billing be completely wrong? That's commonplace in this industry, where the thing you are selling is little more than electrons and your billing department is desperately trying to track and correctly bill literally millions of combinations (I just calculated my company's different rates - I come up with 485 million, around 3 million are manually calculated, the rest are computer-generated). There isn't a telecom in the world who's billing is really properly done. You also have regulations up the ying-yang forcing to use outdated, government-mandated standards and interconnects. Having seen several industries, I can tell you that Telecom is a different frame of mind.
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mt99
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 5:40 pm

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 46):
Uh, I just did...

You could have mentioned him on Reply 20.. right before you said:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 20):
This is the typical sort of arrogance we are seeing from this government, putting people in charge of industries who don't have a clue about them

So it was between Reply 20 and Reply 46 that you learned about him? Or are you just feeding the Hysteria?

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 46):
They might also have noted the similarities between the industries and that most of the skills are transferable.

They might. They might have not. If a were a betting man, i would put my money in option #2

After 40+ replies they still think that there is nothing redeeming from this man. It took 26 replies for you to admit that a Cookie person could become a Computer person.

[Edited 2009-06-11 10:49:40]
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Mir
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 5:42 pm



Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 46):
You also have regulations up the ying-yang

It's not like the auto industry is devoid of regulations, though.

I understand the reservation about the telecom industry, but I still don't believe that it's fair to doom this guy to failure when he hasn't even had the chance to do anything.

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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 6:15 pm



Quoting Mir (Reply 48):
I understand the reservation about the telecom industry, but I still don't believe that it's fair to doom this guy to failure when he hasn't even had the chance to do anything.

When the taxpayers have ponied up some $80 billion in total for GM, I think we should expect the best CEO money could buy, even if it means bringing Jack Welsh out of retirement or bringing Steve Jobs in from Apple (now that's a thought - can you imagine Jobs at the head of GM? You sure won't have boring cars, that's for sure). I just have a rough time believing this guy was the best there was.
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RE: New GM Chairman:"I Don't Know Anything About Cars"

Thu Jun 11, 2009 7:50 pm

This is a bit of hyperbole and exaggeration run wild, don't you think?

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 20):
This is the typical sort of arrogance we are seeing from this government, putting people in charge of industries who don't have a clue about them, from the 31-year old Yale dropout in charge of the Chrysler/GM restructuring

When you refer to someone as a "dropout" from a university, it generally implies that the individual has not received a bachelor's degree. It has been widely reported that the 31 year old in question has, in fact, graduated from college with a bachelor's degree but has not yet received his law degree.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 20):
the strongarm mafia tactics they used against the banks. They use gag orders to ensure that their victims are not allowed to talk to the press, including the owners and employees of the thousands of dealers they are shutting down.

Multiple owners of the closed dealerships have been talking in the press about the loss of their franchises. This would seem to belie the claim of a gag order.
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