Theodore's World: Obama Tells CEO of General Motors To STEP DOWN!

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March 30, 2009

Obama Tells CEO of General Motors To STEP DOWN!

GM CEO resigns at Obama's behest

Politico....for complete article

The Obama administration asked Rick Wagoner, the chairman and CEO of General Motors, to step down and he agreed, a White House official said.

On Monday, President Obama is to unveil his plans for the auto industry, including a response to a request for additional funds by GM and Chrysler.

Wagoner’s resignation was one of the remarkable strings attached to the new aid package the administration is offering GM, based on recommendations from the Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry, headed by the Treasury Department.

The White House confirmed Wagoner was leaving at the government's behest after The Associated Press reported his immediate departure, without giving a reason.

The surprise announcement about the classically iconic American corporation is perhaps the most vivid sign yet of the tectonic change in the relationship between business and government in this era of subsidies and bailouts.

Wagoner has been CEO for 8 years and at GM for more than 30. The company has not said who will replace him. GM has received $13.4 billion in government aid, and has been seeking $16.6 billion more.

Industry sources had said the White House planned very tough medicine in Monday's announcement, which turned out to be an understatement. And it went to the very top. The measures to be imposed by the government will have a dramatic effect on workers, unions, suppliers, bondholders, shareholders, retirees and the communities where plants are located, the sources said.

GM and Chrysler have to prove their viability as a condition of a federal bailout released under former President George W. Bush, and both have asked the current administration for more money. Ford has not sought federal funds because it had secured a line of credit just before money dried up.

Obama said Friday in an interview with CBS’s “Face the Nation,” broadcast Sunday, that the carmakers were going to have to do more.

“There's been some serious efforts to deal with a combination of long-standing problems in the auto industry,” the president told host Bob Schieffer. “What we're trying to let them know is that we want to have a successful auto industry, U.S. auto industry. We think we can have a successful U.S. auto industry. But it's got to be one that's realistically designed to weather this storm and to emerge at the other end much more lean, mean and competitive than it currently is.
“And that's gonna mean a set of sacrifices from all parties involved — management, labor, shareholders, creditors, suppliers, dealers. Everybody's gonna have to come to the table and say it's important for us to take serious restructuring steps now in order to preserve a brighter future down the road."
Schieffer followed up: “But they're not there yet.”
Obama added: “They're not there yet.”

The administration calls the task force “a cabinet-level group that includes the secretaries of Transportation, Commerce, Labor and Energy. It will also include the chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, the EPA administrator, and the director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change. The Task Force will be led by Treasury Secretary [Tim] Geithner and [National Economic Council] Director Larry Summers.”

Wild Thing's comment................

I read the item several times, but I didn’t see any United Auto Workers officials being asked to quit. Probably just an oversight.....hmmmmmmmm.

One of the conditions of the GM bailout (done by Bush, not Obama) was that the company would work to get more cooperation from the UAW on the pay scale and benefits, as well as work practices. So you can bet the UAW is out there dancing in joy right now.GestapObama has clearly dumped that part of the deal, and substituted something that was not in the deal at all.

IMO, Government shouldn’t be dictating the firing of executives of private companies. This is communism! And I will add that government has no business being in the car business. This will end badly no matter what else happens.

How about telling UAW to go!

Posted by Wild Thing at March 30, 2009 07:55 AM


Since when did our illustrious leader have power over CEOs? And why in the heck did Wagner agree? That is NOT for the President to decide. It's up to the shareholders of the company. This really ticks me off. What in the world will he do next?

Posted by: Lynn at March 30, 2009 08:17 AM

The GM stock and bond holders should have demanded Wagoner's head years ago. However, that is up to the stockholders...not Obama.

I still believe that GM should ave taken chapter 11 a couple of years ago when they still had an opportunity to reorganize and bust the UAW. All I foresee now is prolonging the agony...the company will either be taken over and run by government or fold. I kinda hope the feds take 'em over...I want to see the UAW and Feds clash.

Posted by: GUYK at March 30, 2009 09:01 AM

Auto company bailouts are all about subsidizing UAW paychecks. Another entitlement we're stuck with paying until ??? Bankruptcy would have been the right choice both for the taxpayer and GM's survival. I own 2 GM vehicles, if I buy another new one, it won't be GM or Chrysler. But right now, I'm more concerned with stockpiling food and ammo.

Posted by: jim at March 30, 2009 09:11 AM

Getting rid of Wagoner was part of the deal with the devil ...err...Obama so GM can get another handout for the Union. Seems like GM is in Business to pay their employees not to make a profit. At least thats what obama and the Union believe.

Posted by: Mark at March 30, 2009 11:46 AM

So Obama got rid of Wagoner and still put off any GM bailout giving GM 60 more days to come up with more cocessions. Slick move. Obama wants to control both the car companies and the unions. He has also shown other CEOs that if they ask for Federal money, they belong to him.

GM can still throw a monkey wrench in Obama's plan by taking a Chapter 11, if it is legal to do so after accepting the first Federal bailout. A bankruptcy would sure throw cold water on the UAW also.

Posted by: TomR at March 30, 2009 12:10 PM

I do wonder when the "outrage" at the CEO's will end up like this. Nineteen Eighty-Four's "Two Minutes of Hate" Where outrage at the party's current enemies is manufatured to help create love for Big Brother.

The Music does have lyrics.


Strong and peaceful wise and brave,
Fighting the fight for the whole world to save.
We the people will endlessly strive,
To keep our great revolution alive.
Unfurl the banners, look at the screen,
Never before has such glory been seen.

Oceania! Oceania! Oceania! 'Tis for thee.
Every deed, Every thought, 'Tis for thee.
Every deed, Every thought, 'Tis for thee.
Every deed, Every thought, 'Tis for thee.

The people are also chanting "B-B!" Which in Orwell's novel is Newspeak for Big Brother.

Posted by: JohnE PFC U.S. Army at March 30, 2009 01:27 PM

"The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power... Power is not a means, it is an end... The object of power is power." O'Brien in George Orwell's Ninteen Eighty-Four.

I guess that is as good an explanation as any for what is going on today.

Posted by: JohnE PFC U.S. Army at March 30, 2009 01:37 PM

You'ree right JohnE. Good example.

Posted by: TomR at March 30, 2009 02:04 PM

Now after how many billions of dollars at taxpayer expense Gm may still go bankrupt. The government has no business in forcing us to pay for a short term bleeding of taxpayers for a dying company. These scum say just give us more power and money and we will fix it. We have already had a taste of that and oh, isn't it working just dandy.

Posted by: Bob A at March 30, 2009 05:59 PM

Lynn, I agree, that decision should have been up
to the stockholders etc. not big brother government.

Posted by: Wild Thing at March 30, 2009 06:41 PM

GUYK, I agree if they had done a Chapter 11 they
would not be at the mercy of horrible Obama.

Someone was joking today at the gym that Obama
would put Ralph Nader in charge. Talk about death
to any industry.

Posted by: Wild Thing at March 30, 2009 06:44 PM

Jim, I have just one car that is a Dahlmer Chrysler.
Back when Dahlmer was still with Chrysler.

Posted by: Wild Thing at March 30, 2009 06:48 PM

Mark, I agree, "deal with the devil". Obama will
now probably put some idiot that is an enviro
person in charge, someone that wants us all
to have electric stupid cars or something.

Posted by: Wild Thing at March 30, 2009 06:53 PM

Tom, I would lvoe so much to see the
UAW upset instead of getting their way
all the time. But like you said Obama
wants to control the car companies and

Posted by: Wild Thing at March 30, 2009 07:04 PM

JohnE PFC U.S. Army, WOW that was great,
thank you. It isure is a good example, thank
you so much JohnE.

Posted by: Wild Thing at March 30, 2009 07:09 PM

Bob A., that is a big concern, the way
that Obama really loves big government
and keeps saying how government is the
answer to everything.

Posted by: Wild Thing at March 30, 2009 07:14 PM

Buy Ford! They haven't prostrated themselves before Obama yet.

Posted by: BobF at March 30, 2009 09:07 PM