I have had the day to think about how I feel about Rick Wagoner being fired as CEO of GM and the process by which it happened. Those who have heard me speak know that I have cited GM as a continued example of mismanagement for more than 20 years. Through what I have called, “skill and excellent management” they took the world’s #1 car company and over a period of about 50 years have driven it to the brink of bankruptcy.
I have been quoted as saying that you could predict when it would happen based on the “glide path” the company has been on, losing market share continually (or at least nearly so) for 50 years. I have however also said that I did not think the Board of Directors would let that happen. They would take action to turn the company around before it was too late. Silly me. They are at least as inept as the management teams they have allowed to run the company over the last 50 years.
So President Obama has done what GM’s Board has been unwilling to do: Make a significant change. Do I agree with the need for change? Duh. But how do I feel about the President of the United States having a CEO fired? Well that gets mixed feelings. I am not a big fan of government intervention. However, if GM is too big to fail (as we have declared some other companies to be), then government stepping in to help, allows the government to “help.” Once you open that door, you get the consequences.
Bottom line, I wish the government had stayed out of it all together. However, they did not, and the companies asked the government to help, which suggests that it was not forced on them as some banks suggest happened to them. So, you asked for help, now they are helping. Do I like the direction of the help. Well, yes. Firing a CEO who should have quit is a great first step. Now when do they fire the Board? Not that I want Congress to be the Board, but the current Board is clearly incompetent, in my opinion, based on where they let the company get to and the lack of action they took.
So, enough of today’s rant. But we are living in interesting times.