A Quick Conversation With GM CEO Fritz Henderson

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams

“We need to be able to make decisions faster.” Thus spake GM CEO Fritz Henderson to Automotive News [sub] at the National Business Summit yesterday. In what can only be termed a blinding flash of the almost obvious, he continued, “As part of the General Motors moving forward, you don’t normally think of us as speedy or fast, and that’s what we should be. But when you’re fast you do make mistakes. My view is if you’re slow, you make more mistakes. You just don’t notice it.” Huh? Anyway, what about organizational changes? What’s he waiting for?

That will be a discussion with you on a different day. [Ed: Not so fast! Not so fast!] But there are a number of things we need to do to run the business differently.

And what might those be?

It’s not just about getting our cost structure right and getting our capital structure right. It’s also making sure the decision-making process we use is working better. That’s our responsibility.

Well, it’s good to hear you’re finally taking responsibility for something. Does that mean the PTFOA will back off and let you take care of business?

They’re going to be actively involved through the bankruptcy process.

For how long?

We said 60 to 90 days, but it could be outside that. I’m not making another prognostication at this point.

And then what? The government will own 60 percent of the company. Do you really expect them to go away and let you run things?

Assuming that the judge approves the bankruptcy process and the 363 process [dividing GM’s good and bad assets] and we were to exit, the board would be in place and I expect we’d be operating on that basis then.


Frank Williams
Frank Williams

More by Frank Williams

Join the conversation
4 of 17 comments
  • Jpcavanaugh Jpcavanaugh on Jun 18, 2009

    I still say he will be gone by July 30th. And if he isn't, God help GM.

  • Superbadd75 Superbadd75 on Jun 18, 2009
    Well, at least Fritz didn’t say “deeper” or “harder” in addition to “faster”. Why do I read this post and start thinking about Daft Punk?
  • Philbailey Philbailey on Jun 18, 2009

    "When you’re fast you make mistakes. When you’re slow, you make more mistakes. You just don’t notice it." Oh, one of THOSE kinds of drivers.

  • ZoomZoom ZoomZoom on Jun 18, 2009
    philbailey : Oh, one of THOSE kinds of drivers. That's priceless!