Lighting a fire under GM
New chairman draws from AT&T experience, prods company to move faster
Ed Whitacre, 68, is chairman of the board at the automaker, and he's pushing the company to move faster. Executives bring him stacks of PowerPoint presentations to pore over, but he pushes them aside.
Less talk, more action. At least, that's how he paints his leadership style in an interview with Bloomberg.
"We need to hurry every chance we get," he told the news service. "This is about a turnaround, this is not business as usual. This is about a new GM, a new way of doing business."
The Obama administration put Whitacre in charge of the board after GM came out of bankruptcy. Whitacre, 68, was formerly chief executive and chairman of AT&T (T).
He's pushing the company to get profitable sooner and start repaying the $50 million in bankruptcy loans from the government. He thinks the repayments could begin as early as this year.
Can Whitacre prod the company into recovery? He certainly got things moving at AT&T when he ran the company. In the 17 years that he was chief executive there, the company spent almost $200 billion on acquisitions, Bloomberg reported.
"This is probably the only way it could be done in a company like GM," a Harvard business professor told Bloomberg. "Having somebody who is lighting a fire, feels like a game changer to people inside the company."
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
The company plans to close stores and lay off employees, and says it needs to make some deeper changes.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.
Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.
Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.