GM’s appointed boss served American taxpayers

Published 10:17 am Thursday, August 19, 2010

It’s hard to believe now, but a year and a half ago, General Motors, once the world’s largest corporation, was dying — ruined by decades of arrogance, bad management, and irresponsibly bloated union contracts.

… Since it emerged from bankruptcy, GM has undergone an almost amazing turnaround.

The company posted a profit of $1.3 billion for the past quarter. GM, now technically owned by the government, is working on a stock offering, to begin paying back taxpayers and free itself of the “Government Motors” stigma.

Email newsletter signup

Much of the credit belongs to the man the Obama Administration installed as chairman, retired telecommunications executive Edward Whitacre, Jr., a task-oriented Texan.

… He made the hard decisions, promoted those who were performing, and got rid of those who weren’t. Last week, with the company on the right road, he stunned observers by announcing he would step down as CEO at the end of this month, and resign as board chairman at the end of the year. …

Mr. Whitacre deserves a tip of the Stetson as he returns to Texas. He succeeded beyond expectations, and left when he had the mess cleaned up and the motor running, just as he said he would. GM is smaller, but is making cars and money.

And for 80,000 workers still on the job, that beats the alternative.

The (Toledo) Blade