By on June 9, 2009

Automotive News [sub] is reporting that former chairman and CEO of AT&T, Edward Whitacre Jr., has been selected as the chairman of the “New GM.” Whitacre is an industrial engineer by training and previously served on the boards of ExxonMobil and Burlington Northern Santa Fe. Whitacre and interim chairman Kent Kresa will serve on GM’s board along with current members Philip Laskawy, Kathryn Marinello, Errol Davis Jr., E. Neville Isdell and CEO Fritz Henderson. Six other current GM board members will retire by the time GM’s asset sale is approved, four of whom will be replaced by a selection process now underway. Two more directors will be selected by the Canadian government and the UAW VEBA trust. The reconstituted GM board will seat 13 directors.

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21 Comments on “Meet The New Chairman Of GM: Edward Whitacre Jr....”


  • avatar

    Lets hope he has a Porsche in his garage

  • avatar
    jaje

    Well at least we all know the GM BOD is not all bean counters.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Must be a real commie. Even his tie is red!

  • avatar
    tced2

    @David Holzman, I read somewhere in a bio that he drove a Cadillac Sedan de Ville.

  • avatar

    I think it’d be a lot more interesting to be in charge of “Bad” GM. You could spend six wild months funneling government dollars into offshore accounts and hookers in Las Vegas before burying the 50 years of cooked books and two years of unsold Pontiacs in an abandoned coal mine in Arizona. There’d be no pressure, because there’d be no expectations.

  • avatar
    bjcpdx

    There is something very wrong with the fact that they are keeping any of the current board members.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    I’m picturing him in dunk-tank fundraiser. Yeah, that’ll do.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    As the new board forms, it will be interesting to observe it’s relationship to the executives in the NEW GM develop, unless of course they already know one another and we see NEW GM fall into it’s old, destructive patterns of the past.

    I wonder how much the board members are getting paid.

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    @[email protected]: that would be Al Koch and AlixPartners, recently seen getting Kmart out of C11

  • avatar
    tonycd

    As the head of Southwestern Bell, this guy was head of the Texan “suits in boots” crew that took over Ameritech, the Midwest’s Baby Bell, and then ran roughshod over state regulators there. His company also played footsie with W’s trampling of your right to privacy by cooperating in warrantless wiretapping.

    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

  • avatar
    moedaman

    bjcpdx :
    June 9th, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    There is something very wrong with the fact that they are keeping any of the current board members.

    Especially Henderson. The BOD is supposed to keep watch over management, not be a part of it.

    tonycd :
    June 9th, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    As the head of Southwestern Bell, this guy was head of the Texan “suits in boots” crew that took over Ameritech, the Midwest’s Baby Bell, and then ran roughshod over state regulators there. His company also played footsie with W’s trampling of your right to privacy by cooperating in warrantless wiretapping.

    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

    Yet Obama’s team put him on the board. Doesn’t this strike you as interesting?

    Hopefully he’ll do what the previous BOD didn’t do. That’s to kick managements ass and point it into the right direction.

  • avatar
    MikeyDee

    So, let’s put a new guy in there who doesn’t even know how to change the wiper blades on his car. I feel sorry for the poor sots that are left at GM. Their goose is really cooked now.

  • avatar
    Samuel L. Bronkowitz

    “former chairman and CEO of AT&T”

    I didn’t have to read any further than that. AT&T?!?!? Really?!?! ’cause when I think of innovating one’s self from an old business model to a new one anything to do with the old Bell System is an epic FAIL! I worked at one of the baby bells and those people spent fully half of their days wishing for the old days of being a protected monopoly.

    This is just more of the same shit. A clueless executive that got a gig because of his connections. They might as well have gotten Nardelli. Nothing will ever change on this story.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    Good luck Mr. Whitacre. You’ll need it. I hope you’re visualizing retirement after this gig is over. Sarasota is pretty nice from late November to mid-April.

  • avatar
    VelocityRed3

    Well this guy used to be my CEO, several years ago. As a matter of fact, a fellow employee & myself were just mentioning just how bad a CEO this guy was. This is bad. Very bad

  • avatar
    skygreenleopard

    I didn’t have to read any further than that. AT&T?!?!? Really?!?! ’cause when I think of innovating one’s self from an old business model to a new one anything to do with the old Bell System is an epic FAIL! I worked at one of the baby bells and those people spent fully half of their days wishing for the old days of being a protected monopoly.

    Quite the opposite. AT&T got HUGE under this guy and recovered pretty well after the antitrust suit split them up. Add in the growth of AT&T wireless and their purchases of several smaller companies in the past few years, and they’re starting to look more Halliburton than failed company. Like TONYCD said above, he’s part of an old Texan crew of ol’ boys.

    I’m hoping he does initiate some change, but I don’t know how much he can do, especially with ol’ Fritz still CEO.

    Also, he does drive a Caddy. While he’s mega-rich (think Golden Parachutes after he left AT&T), I know a couple of corporate lawyers up at AT&T who got scolded for owning Benzes (purchased on their own), which were too extravagant for the company culture. Interesting man, this guy.

  • avatar
    mtypex

    “Interesting man, this guy.”

    I’ll be polite: He’s another loser from corporate America.

    Pithy, pointed, polite.

  • avatar
    dgduris

    @mtypex,

    So, you thinkin’ we should get someone in here like Luca di Montezemolo?

    He would dress snappier – at least.

  • avatar
    kruisin66

    PERFECT. This guy formerly on EXXON MOBIL Board of Directors. Most likely has millions in oil stock. Think he gives a crap about increasing fuel mileage?

  • avatar
    Stingray

    At least it’s an engineer…

    It would be interesting to know what will constitute “Bad GM” and “Bad Chrysler”

    It would be fun if those “failed” companies, make a comeback and PWN the “Good” ones.

  • avatar
    tonycd

    “Quite the opposite. AT&T got HUGE under this guy and recovered pretty well after the antitrust suit split them up.”

    skygreenleopard, don’t be confused by the fact that Whitacre ran a company called “AT&T.” It’s not the company you remember. It’s really SBC, after swallowing Ameritech and the shriveled, broken remains of the real AT&T. After the last purchase, the SBC faux-cowboys wanted a famous national name rather than their obscure regional one, so they slapped the name of their latest acquisition onto the front of the whole company.

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