: Precedent says Wagoner should leave



Lord Cadillac
11-21-08, 02:13 AM
General Motors' net loss of $2.5 billion in the third quarter marked the fifth straight quarter in the red. Since 2004, Wagoner has led the company to a cumulative loss of $72.3 billion. Even allowing for inflation, Wagoner clearly has passed the financial threshold where his ouster is justified.

Wagoner, 55, has dug the once-proud auto giant into a very deep hole. It may or may not prove to be GM's grave. But when Wagoner and other top GM executives hoped that a merger with Chrysler, for Pete's sake, could save the General, well, it's time to admit that those executives have not gotten the job done.

Wagoner's defenders hide behind two lame excuses for keeping him in the corner office. Let's examine both claims:

Read more...
http://www.autonews.com/article/20081120/BLOG05/811209973/-1

77CDV
11-21-08, 02:39 AM
This is what happens when you put the money men in charge. GM's CEO and president should be drawn from the ranks of the people who design and build cars. At least they might have some clue as to what kind of product to produce, rather than playing financial shuffleboard.

ryannel2003
11-21-08, 11:30 AM
I don't like his attitude. I find him extremely arrogant, and while many good products have come out of the General, it's clear the public just doesn't care. It was actually funny, I was watching something about how GM is spending money on private jets and a news reporter was asking him about it, and he got extremely defensive and just walked away. Haha.

The Tony Show
11-21-08, 12:20 PM
The Jet thing seems ludicrous on the surface, but another poster here brought up the excellent point of "What if they had flown commercial and the flight had been delayed?" (which happens about 50% of the time). They'd have been chided for being late to this important meeting. Spending the money on a Private flight to ensure timely arrival to a meeting that may determine whether your company lives or dies makes sense.

As for those two excuses for Wagoner, they're both weaksauce. The real argument for keeping Wagoner is that he was largely responsible for seeing the opportunity in China for Chevrolet and Buick- if it weren't for the profits GM is turning there, they'd have hit this low point a long time ago. Another thing that the media ignores is that many of the losses in the last few years have been voluntary, one-time losses taken by GM in order to reduce operating costs. Instead of being slowly bled to death by contracts for years into the future, they decided instead to buy them out for a single cash payment. It looks bad on the books, but prior to the collapse of the economy they had plenty of money to keep operating, and within a year would have reached the point where the monthly savings earned that money back- everything from that point forward would have been profit.

There's a lot more to this than "gM is teH succK they lost monei!!!!" Wagoner has been overseeing a painful period of spending billions to chop off dead weight, and had things not collapsed elsewhere they'd have been turning a profit by 2010. If Congress wants to see a turnaround plan, Wagoner should show them what he's already been doing for the last two years.

Lord Cadillac
11-21-08, 12:44 PM
Sorry, but I still find the private jet deal to be ridiculous. F'ing leave early if you're worried about a regular plane getting in late. Or spend what it costs to fly in on a private jet? Come on, Tony..

Your other arguments make sense. There are good reasons to keep him - and there are good reasons to get rid of him.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-21-08, 12:48 PM
Wait...so is Wagoner above or below Lutz?

ryannel2003
11-21-08, 01:11 PM
Wagoner is above Lutz I believe, but don't quote me on that.

I agree with Sal on the private jet thing; leave early and you don't have to worry about not getting on a flight. But the other points Tony brings up are excellent.

77CDV
11-21-08, 03:03 PM
Wait...so is Wagoner above or below Lutz?

Wagoner is top dog; Lutz is a veep.

The thing that was most interesting about the Congressional testimony to me was when Wagoner couldn't give at least a reasonable dollar estimate of what it would cost to keep GM solvent for the coming year. You're the f'in CEO with supposedly a top notch financial education and you have not even a ballpark clue has to how much it takes for your company to opperate on a yearly basis? Yeah, there are variable costs and unforseen circumstances, but come on, not even just a round figure somewhat tethered to reality? Really?

Jesda
11-21-08, 03:08 PM
The private jet thing is nonsense. As a shareholder, I want my VERY well-paid CEOs to be where they have to be ON TIME EVERY TIME, not dilly dallying around airport terminals.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-21-08, 03:35 PM
I always thought it was funny that the GM CEO's last name was very close to a certain Jeep.

hueterm
11-21-08, 10:45 PM
The private jet thing is nonsense. As a shareholder, I want my VERY well-paid CEOs to be where they have to be ON TIME EVERY TIME, not dilly dallying around airport terminals.


While I agree with you in principle, it's the fact that by doing so, he opened himself up for ridicule by the media and Congress (both of whom are jealous that they're not flying around in private jets, and both of whom have godcomplexes thinking that they should be flying around in private jets).

Therefore, he is a fool.

Maybe they'll have a big recall, and get forced into Chapter 11 before "O" takes office -- and then maybe they can get around to fixing the problems they have.

thebigjimsho
11-21-08, 11:00 PM
Sorry, but I still find the private jet deal to be ridiculous. F'ing leave early if you're worried about a regular plane getting in late. Or spend what it costs to fly in on a private jet? Come on, Tony..

Your other arguments make sense. There are good reasons to keep him - and there are good reasons to get rid of him.Private jets are a necessary element of business. When meetings can dictate multi-million dollar transactions, mergers, cuts, etc, time is money. Every company has them. Some are bigger and better than others. Either way, they're not going away, even in the recession.

Talk about how "symbolic" this was in corporate greed, whatever. It's all little-man bullshit and the media feeding it to you. And you fall for it, hook, line and sinker. All it takes is 10 CTS-Vs being sold without Employee Pricing to pay off that flight to Washington. Give it a rest...

hueterm
11-21-08, 11:25 PM
Personally I don't care that GM spent the $20K to fly him there on the jet. There were probably a bunch of other people on the plane too that no one bothered to ask about.

I just think that he set himself up for ridicule, and that it was poor judgement (or should I say j-u-d-je-m-UNT, like our new VP....)

orconn
11-21-08, 11:59 PM
Sorry, but I still find the private jet deal to be ridiculous. F'ing leave early if you're worried about a regular plane getting in late. Or spend what it costs to fly in on a private jet? Come on, Tony..

Your other arguments make sense. There are good reasons to keep him - and there are good reasons to get rid of him.

The private jet thing is just another "Red Herring" put forth by an ignorant press corps looking for front page fodder!

A corporate jet is going to sitting there waiting for use by executives whether it looks good to the casual observer or not. I would be amazed if the the big three auto makers didn't have several available for managemnt's use.
The time savings involved in use of a private jet is considerable enabling key executives to cover far more ground and keep track of and follow up on policies that hopefully will be profitable of the company.

Whether it is in use or just sitting there waiting to be used corporate jets cost a hell o0f a lot of money.Ten years ago a family friends pilot told me that the family's long distance jet aircraft cost in excess of $12 million a year to operate ....... that was in addition to the $30 million initial price of the aircraft.

So I'm glad the auto execs got some use of an expensive asset ...... and got to theirmeeting in D.C. athe the Hill on time!

LS1Mike
11-22-08, 12:03 AM
Should have showed up in a Cobalt.
No reason not to on this occasion.

Personal Business jets are use by thousands of companies world wide.
No big deal really.

He really has done great things overseas and the last quater loss was in large part to cut cost further down the road. My understanding is that this is to be the last large payout like that for a while.

Now could he do a bunch of stuff different, like a pay cut or not taking to jet to show his commitment and that he is not an ego maniac. Sure and right now he should.

Aron9000
11-23-08, 04:23 AM
You can say that Wagoner has cut costs and all this other stuff, but he still hasn't addressed GM's primary woe. Too many brands and too many similar cars.

Lets look at Toyota. They have three midsize to large FWD sedans.
Toyota Camry, Toyota Avalon, Lexus ES330. By concentrating more resources on those three cars, they can really nail the details and spend more R&D $$$ on each car. All of these cars are built on the same platform.

GM: Pontiac G6, Pontiac Grand Prix, Chevy Malibu, Chevy Impala, Buick LaCrosse, Buick Lucenre, Saturn Aura, Saab 9-3, Cadillac DTS. That's 9 different models on three different platforms. They aren't selling the volume of cars to justify all that. That approach might have worked back in the 60's when their market share was 50%, but its clear that this is simply a failing business model IMO.

Caddy Man
11-23-08, 09:15 AM
I just don't get why GM has to have the Saturn Outlook, Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia, and Buick Enclave. That is just too many cars that are essentially the same vehicle and just creates competition amongst each other.

Destroyer
11-24-08, 02:21 AM
As much as I'd like to blame that jet ridin' mofo, I cant. GM was making crap cars way before him. THAT is the culprit and that is the final nail in the coffin for GM.