Bailout Watch 450: The PTFOA Needs YOU!

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
bailout watch 450 the ptfoa needs you

From: Harry Wilson

Sent: Friday, March 13, 2009 12:52 PM

Friends — I’m sorry for the mass email — as some of you know, I recently joined Steve Rattner and Ron Bloom on the President’s Auto Task Force. While the work before us constitutes an extraordinary challenge, Eva and I are excited to be able to give back in this way at this time.

I’m writing because our primary challenge right now is that the work is complicated and massive, and our team is quite small. We are looking to add people with the following sets of experience:

1) Principal/VP level: 8-12 years of experience. The ideal person has a great deal of due diligence experience, transaction experience and is sufficiently intellectually and professionally nimble that s/he can take on any variety of independent work streams, in a leadership role, and drive to a well thought out recommendation.

2) Associate/analyst level: 2-5 years of experience. Same skills as above, just with less experience. This person would work with the Principal/VP level person described above.

We are looking to hire 1-2 people at each level. Obviously, automotive/knowledge experience is a plus. We would consider extraordinary people at different experience levels if they are the right fit.

Some important points to consider as you think through potential candidates:

1) The work is incredibly intense. The amount of work is massive, the timelines are tight and the level of focus is also very high. That being said, it is extremely exhilarating, intellectually and professionally rewarding, and of great importance. Any candidate must be willing to work extremely long hours for the duration of the project.

2) The work is extremely varied. Because we have a small team and limited support at this time (which will improve over time), the right person must have the right attitude and be comfortable with work that ranges from the sublime to the truly administrative. Dealing with the bureaucracy is an important and daily part of the job. It is absolutely critical that a candidate has the right attitude in working through all of this.

3) The work is of a relatively short duration. While this process can certainly take unexpected twists and turns, our expectation is that the task force will be in place for 6 to 12 months. Events could certainly overtake that timeframe, in either direction, but I want to make clear one should not expect this role to lead to a permanent position.

4) Location. Our offices are at the Treasury Department, so most of the work is in DC. For the very few of you who are already aware of my decision, you know that Eva and our girls will remain in Scarsdale while I commute during the week. While it’s far from ideal and I miss them terribly, we do feel strongly (at the risk of sounding melodramatic) that our family as a whole is sacrificing at this time of national need.

5) Ethics. There is an appropriately high degree of focus on ethics.

Anyone who joins our team must be devoid of conflicts, which would include, among other things, the following buckets:

a) You must divest any auto-related investments (liquid or illiquid) held by you, your spouse or your dependent children

b) You, your spouse or a close relative could not have received compensation from, or served on the board of, an auto-related company or the UAW any time in the past 12 months.

6) Timing. Our need to hire is immediate. We hope to go through all submitted resumes in the next few days, invite a small handful of exceptional candidates to DC (at their expense) and make decisions quickly. If we don’t find what we need, we’ll obviously keep looking, but the need is immediate, and we hope we can fill it that quickly as well. It is also important that the person be willing to start immediately, for the same reason. If you don’t have a resume and are pressed for time, feel free to send a detailed bio.

7) Compensation = government wages.

As you can see, this position can only appeal to and work for the right person at the right stage of his/her life. For those people, I believe the opportunity is both unique and tremendous.

Unfortunately, because of our own time constraints and workloads, as much as I would like to, I can’t field informational calls from interested parties. Only candidates who would be extremely excited to do this, on the parameters described above, should send their resumes to me.

On a personal note, I could not be more excited to be a part of what is a terrific team with an extremely important task ahead of it. Despite the challenges described above, about which I want to be direct and clear, and the personal challenges created by my physical separation from my family, the experience has been exhilarating, and Eva and I are very happy with our decision.

Finally, there are other opportunities within Treasury as well. To the extent you are interested in serving but are not particularly interested in auto-related work, feel free to send me a resume as well, with a note to that effect, as there may be another fit within Treasury.

Thank you all in advance for your generous help and good suggestions.

Feel free to mention this to talented friends whom you think could be a great fit. Take care!

Join the conversation
2 of 11 comments
  • Ravenchris Ravenchris on Mar 21, 2009

    I second the Farago nomination.

  • Eric Bryant Eric Bryant on Mar 22, 2009

    I'm sure that, from the outside, this must be hilarious. From my perspective as an industry insider, it's simply tragic. The 12-month exemption should be especially effective at filtering out any competent candidates.

  • Art Vandelay I’d grab one of these if I’d spent my working life at GM for sure!
  • Analoggrotto The factory is delayed due to an investigation of a peter puffery ring lead by VoGhost, Tassos, EBFlex a Civic Type-R
  • FreedMike Looking forward to the protests at the factory accusing Toyota of excessive woke-ism. First,, grooming.
  • MrIcky I remember when Gladiators came out and everyone was shocked at how expensive they were. Now all the off road specials have caught up or passed it financially. I like this truck a lot, but I'd still take my Rubicon over this. I'd take this over the Ranger Raptor or Tacoma TRD though. When I found out the increase in track for the new TRD was just wheel offset-I knew they were just phoning it in. Why spend so much R&D on those stupid seats when you could have r&d'd longer arms or a front locker.
  • Alan Hmm, I see a bit of politicking here. What qualifications do you need to run GM or Ford? I'd bet GM or Ford isn't run by experienced people. Anyone at that level in an organisation doesn't need to be a safety whip, you need to have the ability to organise those around you to deliver the required results.