By on January 24, 2013

Selim Bingol, GM’s PR bigshot, may not “negotiate with terrorists”, but he nearly wound up working for a terrorist sympathizer who was active on terrorist message boards: Bingol’s former client Ed Whitacre recommended the man as GM’s next leader.

Automotive News reports that Whitacre originally wanted Mark Reuss, son of a former GM exec, to become CEO. In the end, GM got Dan Akerson. So how to explain the TTAC connection?

First, a preface. TTAC is committed to providing a positive experience for the commenters, provided they adhere to the commenting policy. Furthermore, we know that plenty of our readers work in sensitive positions within the industry, and their anonimity is extremely important. However, Reuss ended up outing himself.

Reuss’ s often snarky comments fit TTAC well. Likewise, Reuss would be a perfect fit for the top job at GM. After all, what’s good for North America should be just great for GM. A youthful, knowledgeable, quick-witted Reuss definitely trumps an Akerson, who, according to Whitacre, was openly contemptuous of GM and their products – a charge commonly leveled at TTAC. Imagine that, a TTAC reader occupying the executive suite at General Motors. One can only snicker at the idea of a Manchurian Candidate or sleeper cell planted deep within GM to help undermine the evil labor unions, hard-touch plastics and Voltec R&D programs.

As the son of a former auto executive myself, I know what it’s like to visit Dad at the office and be awestruck by the magnitude and complexity of what goes into putting cool cars on the road – and the desire to fill Dad’s shoes one day, working in the greatest industry on the planet. Just remember Mark, we are not an evil monolith dedicated to bringing down the RenCen, even if your PR guru thinks so.

Reuss is young, and a frequent TTAC commenter can still be CEO. By endorsing him, we may have diminished his odds under the current regime, but there is always hope for a new one.

Care to comment, nadude?

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18 Comments on “How A Frequent TTAC Commenter Nearly Became CEO Of General Motors...”


  • avatar
    dswilly

    Is he the Z71 Silvy guy?

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    This is an almost “too cool to be true” story. If he actually becomes CEO then it will be a “too cool to be true” story.

  • avatar
    niky

    Well, GM needs fresh blood. And who better than someone who’s on the frontlines and exposed to the criticisms (both deserved and not?)

  • avatar
    Pig_Iron

    “be awestruck by the magnitude and complexity off what goes into putting cool cars on the road”

    True for bad ones too. I saw guys and gals put their all into the Dodge Caliber, but in the end they were forced to make due. It must have been very frustrating.

  • avatar
    doug-g

    I’m going to be honest, I Googled for an angle which hopefully would provide the meat for a snarky reply and found this:

    “He’s my guy!” The problem of blind loyalty shows up more often than you may suspect. The boss and the subordinate may have worked together a long time; in some cases their families vacationed together. Judgment becomes blurred. Mention this to people who were around General Motors in the early ’90s and they tend to nod vigorously and say, “Lloyd Reuss!” He became president when Robert Stempel became CEO, and many GM managers considered him a smooth talker who belonged nowhere near the company’s pinnacle. Stempel emphatically disagreed, often putting his arm around Reuss’ shoulders and exclaiming, “Lloyd’s my guy!” Not anymore, said the board, as GM’s losses sank to historic depths. When the directors took the chairman’s title away from Stempel, they also demoted Reuss, and when they fired Stempel six months later, they booted Reuss too.”

    I need to give this more thought. I’ve not really done much research on Mark Reuss so I can’t draw a conclusion. Much of my opinion was based on him following his father. Now I need to look further to see if the quote was even a fair evaluation of Lloyd Reuss. I’ve stated, and still believe, that what GM needs is a leader who not only understands the business, but can connect with the public. In MHO, The latter is almost more important at this point. Even good cars only sell if people look at them.

    America is a strange place in that we love to see our heroes fail, but we also love a good comeback story. Could Mark Reuss be the man to lead that comeback. I’ll have to do more research to answer that in my own mind.

    • 0 avatar
      Detroit-X

      Nice synopsis. I think the heroes America likes to see fall are mainly the arrogant ones. And GM’s upper execs have never been heroes in my memory. Most were clueless, rich, arrogant, willing ‘team players’ knowing the team was failing terribly (albeit having the occasional hit).

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    Mark Reuss did a good job at Holden. He really got behind the Company even to the point of restoring a 1958 FC Holden by himself.
    http://www.mister-cars.com/Files/holden/holdfclarge.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Good for him! He seems to have proven himself there and was fortunate enough to get out before Holden started to look shaky.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      He did not have a chance to make much of a “Mark” as he was promoted not long after he got there. Holden “Shakiness” is very much tied to exchange rates and the dearth of suitable GM overseas products to fill the market spread.

  • avatar

    he hired Ebonic, that alone should tell you there is no ability to judge talent. he has lost market share steadily, and made zero change to the ridiculous marketing. this is what drives the car business and Reuss does not get it. he should be reassigned back to Australia and take Batey with him.

    furthermore, any high level GM executive with family members attached to NASCAR should be forbidden from approving any race car expenditures.

    hear me Mark, and don’t bother sending your goony zone reps after dealers I’m associated with. you won’t like the results bro.

  • avatar
    sunridge place

    From the sites search function, it looks like Reuss has posted a half-dozen times or so…hardly a ‘frequent’ commenter.

    The funniest was here…

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/06/chevy-beats-the-gas-prices-blues-in-india-with-lpg-ev-city-car/

    Watching Ed backpeddle and apologizing for ‘framing the topic in a confusing manner’ was amusing.


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