CEO Rick Wagoner will leave General Motors after President Obama requested that he step down.
Governor Granholm of Michigan feels that General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner was made a "sacrificial lamb" for the auto bailout. Apparently the Governor has not been keeping up with the company.
General Motor's problems started long before the recession we're in right now. Over the last eight years CEO Wagoner ignored automobile trends and missed opportunities to stay competitive.
Despite billions invested in new cars, GM continued to loose ground with lackluster models and an inability to generate excitement with its cars. They went for years without a total redesign and were never able to offer a fuel-efficient car that people wanted to buy. Even "Mr. Hummer" himself could see the benefits and necessity of fuel-efficient automobiles.
Although Wagoner's tenure as CEO started with General Motors in 2000, he was with the company for more than 30 years. Under his leadership, the company steadily lost market share in North America, loosing $82 billion since 2005 and about 95 percent of its value since he took over.
Since receiving billions of bailout dollars in December, GM did little to save itself. Wagoner's inability to cut losses and make GM profitable in North America is ultimately the cause of his downfall.
Wagoner received $2.1 million in salary last year, $836,000 in other compensation, and stock valued at $11.9 million in 2008. Now that he is leaving GM, he will receive more than $20 million in a retirement package. When he agreed to work for $1 in 2009, I doubt the 10,000 plus GM workers that are to be let go by May 1st were impressed.
There comes a time when a company needs a new "driver at the wheel", that time for GM came a long time ago. Hopefully it's not too late for GM to reinvent itself and keep US auto manufacturing alive.
This move by President Obama was certainly appropriate. Now might be a good time for him to take another look at banks that were bailed out and pass out a few more CEO "pink slips".