By on October 7, 2009

Did you think that finally sacking Mark LaNeve might have been another step in the direction towards the “culture change” promised land? Time for some new meds. And while we usually have to sit on our sour-puss predictions for a few days before being proven right, GM decided to back us up early this time. Automotive News [sub] reports that none other than Buick-GMC boss Susan Docherty will be replacing LaNeve at the pinnacle of the GM sales operation. “She brings a fresh perspective to the job and she has an extraordinarily high level of energy,” says Fritz Henderson. By which he means she’s a lifer, and owes her career to the timid, inept culture Henderson is simultaneously a product of and ostensibly bent on breaking.

And despite having said just hours ago that “I do think there is a benefit to bringing in outsider. I think we would benefit from fresh perspective,” good-old-boy Fritz managed to lock hope-and-change Fritz in a closet for this decision. “I’d be very nervous about putting someone into the sales function who didn’t understand how it worked at the time we’re going through a dealer restructuring like we’re doing,” is Fritz’s self-justifying verdict. After all, if he really believed in changing GM, would he let himself stay in charge? “Mark’s done a heck of a job in a very difficult environment going through this,” Henderson continued, removing any doubt that he’ll be the next GM insider to be dragged away from the mess kicking and screaming. “I give him enormous credit.”

To be fair, hope-and-change Fritz also points out (very accurately) that GM’s bailout-baby status makes it hard to hire outsiders. GM is still waiting for guidelines for hiring and compensation. On the other hand, even if GM could offer big stock option packages to outside talent, well, there is no stock. And if there were stock, it would be worthless. So why not perpetuate the sclerotic stranglehold of lifer execs? What else was the bailout for?

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114 Comments on “Docherty Replaces LaNeve: GM’s Cultural Revolution More Like Musical Chairs...”


  • avatar
    JSF22

    Expecting change from GM is like thinking this time Lucy won’t yank the football away. Though they may have found their one employee more clueless than LaNeve.

    But note that Henderson gave another hint elsewhere: clearly they can’t get anybody good for the money Treasury will allow them to pay.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Can I call’em, or can’t I?

    (actually, this is one of those times when it sucks to guess right…)

  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    She an engineer?

    Thought so. Feggetagowdit. GM is doomed.

    Run by the gummit (a law school dropout), managed by folks to whom mechanics 101 is a flunkout course.

    Let’s hear it for more X-cars……

  • avatar
    CarPerson

    Search through the TTAC Archives and you will find that over two years ago Susan Docherty was identified as a person well out of her element, worse than a doe caught in the headlights.

    That Henderson pulled this stunt proves two things: Susan is too dumb to grasp she is being thrown to the wolves and Fritz could give a rip about the whole GM deal.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    Good luck, lady. You’re gonna need it and a busload of faith to get by.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    She an engineer?

    Thought so. Feggetagowdit. GM is doomed.

    Lutz is an engineer. See how well that went?

    Katsuaki Watanabe is an economist. Fujio Cho is a lawyer. See how well that went?

    Note to engineers: being an engineer does not automatically mean you’re good at everything. What about being an engineer automatically qualifies you to be a good marketer? A motivator or leader? A turnaround expert? A manager?

    Answer: nothing.

  • avatar
    ajla

    God.

    Damn.

    It.

    Why General Motors?!

  • avatar
    rmwill

    Susan combines two deadly ingredients: Ignorance and Arrogance. Mark LaNeve was a star in comparison.

    I am sure GM has someone who could do this job other than Susan. She has been and will continue to be a disaster.

  • avatar
    rmwill

    @psarhjinian

    Being an engineer is no guarantee of success, but being an arrogant, inbred MBA buzzword machine is a guarantee for failure.

  • avatar
    CarPerson

    Her market is those who race out to a new car, fling open the door, jump in, and start playing with the radio and navigation system to the total abandonment of the rest of the vehicle.

    General Motors is convinced this is how EVERYONE buys a new car.

    Eighteen percent market share and continuing to fall…

  • avatar

    JSF22

    Well-spotted on the pay front.

    As a TARP recipient, GM’s executive pay is already capped. Obama’s Pay Czar has announced his intention to restrict TARPies’ non-pay compensation to stock ownership.

    GM doesn’t have any stock, nor will it (mark my words). So they can’t pay enough to get good outside talent.

    What GM should do: leave the position vacant.

  • avatar

    Oh well. Guess this old dog ain’t gonna learn new tricks anytime soon.

    So let’s crack open a cold one and wait for the moment when the ol’ girl just can’t move anymore and falls dead, then and there. The corpse can then be buried in a semi-dignified manner.

  • avatar
    Droftarts

    Assuming leopards can’t change their spots, Fritz’s observations are correct: Susan will bring a fresh perspective and a high level of energy.

    Unfortunately, that perspective will be captured in incoherent form on multiple Post-It Notes, and the energy will be expelled using multi-colour highliters to further obliterate any salvageable information remaining on said Post-It Notes.

    Watching this train wreck is even harder than being a Leafs fan.

  • avatar
    rmwill

    Watching the video… Susan is pandering to what she thinks her fellow skirts would like in a vehicle, like rugrat entertainment and backup cameras. The Terrain is very ugly, and maybe thats its only selling points.

  • avatar
    Daanii2

    Fujio Cho is a lawyer.

    Fujio Cho is not a lawyer. He got a degree in law at Tokyo University in 1960. But that is an undergraduate degree and does not qualify him to be a lawyer in Japan.

    Many people planning a career in business, especially back then, study law as an undergraduate. The top ranks in many of Japan’s top companies have a lot of people with law degrees.

    Tokyo University is the most prestigious university in Japan. The faculty of law is the most prestigious part of Tokyo University. Getting a law degree there says a lot.

  • avatar
    DrivnEZ

    Anyone capable of doing this job wouldn’t want it.

    DEZ

  • avatar
    mikey

    Good luck Susan, all of us that are depending on GM for our future are cheering you on. Go get e’m girl.

  • avatar

    Daanii2: GM has plenty of people with degrees from Harvard and Stanford–including Susan Docherty.

    I don’t know enough about Susan Docherty to say whether or not this is a bad move. From the time I spent observing life inside GM, I learned that you can tell next to nothing about what these people are actually like and what they are capable of from reading their depictions in the press.

  • avatar
    ClutchCarGo

    “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss”

    Won’t get fooled again.

  • avatar
    lahru

    Other than Corvette and not even a close second, Silverado as a model name another GM car or truck model that since to the late 1980’s it has stuck with.

    They ditch models faster any other major car company.

    Introduce x model, promote the hell out of it, see some sales success, reduce ads for x, maybe a redo in 4 or 5 years and then, Hey! look what we’ve got! The new “y”! Better than the old “x”, although they never mention x by name. This has been their downfall.

    Can you imagine Toyota ditching the Camry. For a new 4 door sedan with a “new” name?

    These guy’s have wasted more successful brand names than any other auto maker, and it shows.

    Every time they ditch another model, all of those x buyers who really liked their x are left at the alter.

    Sorry, but we have a new woman now and your just not attractive anymore, sorry.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Can you imagine Toyota ditching the Camry. For a new 4 door sedan with a “new” name?

    To be fair, there’s a reason for that: “Camry” has positive brand equity, while most of what GM has sold has not. It makes sense to abandon a model name when it becomes a liability.

    It’s a moot point, though, when your whole brand is tarnished.

  • avatar
    pnnyj

    What a roller-coaster….

    Goodbye Mark Laneve -> Woo Hoo, New GM actually gets it right. There is hope for them after all!!!

    Hello Susan Docherty -> (Facepalm) All hope is gone.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    The whole thing strikes me as being irrelevant. LaNeve was in marketing, and he’s being replaced by someone whose primary responsibility was marketing.

    GM’s primary problem has been with product, not so much with marketing. I don’t see how anyone taking LaNeve’s job is in a position to fix what is wrong with the business.

    One of the real problems is Lutz, whose ideas do have play and who generally makes bad decisions. He’s still there and until he’s replaced with someone who can move the culture in a different direction, I can’t imagine anything improving.

  • avatar
    AlexD

    With the Terrain, you get a feature that nobody else has … this sweet dog locked in the trunk.

    Awesome, I like dogs. Sad looking guy couldn’t wait to get the hell out of there.

    I don’t suffer run of the mouth marketing well. So you put the LCD screens on the seat backs so that you have an unobstructed view. View of what? You just explained how the rear facing camera with integrated radar is the one feature that is going to save your child from a horrifying death when trying to back this box down your driveway.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    The whole thing strikes me as being irrelevant. LaNeve was in marketing, and he’s being replaced by someone whose primary responsibility was marketing.

    Technically, La Neve was demoted to Sales alone, losing the bulk of his marketing duties, much of which have gone to Lutz.

    I didn’t think this was really that bad a move. La Neve wasn’t so bad at sales—he’d probably make a decent regional manager—but it’s his marketing skills that were suspect at best. Docherty is purely marketing, which may not be a good thing for someone coming into a position like VP of Sales.

    You are right about Lutz.

    This is not a net gain versus old GM: we now have—still—an engineer and old-school product planner in charge of marketing, and an ineffective marketer in charge of sales; before we had a salesman doing marketing & sales, one of which he was ok at, and a product guy doing what amounted to PR work, which we wasn’t bad at.

    The only way I could understand this is if Docherty was the best that they could find. I’ll believe this: any competent sales executive wouldn’t touch GM as it currently stands. They butchered their product plans to stave off bankruptcy and are at least two to three years from having something for a sales VP to really work with.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    The only way I could understand this is if Docherty was the best that they could find.

    How anyone could have been expected to promote the Buick-Pontiac-GMC channel effectively is beyond me.

    The whole concept was poorly thought out. I assume that the idea of having a BPG channel was Wagoner’s, and that Docherty was probably not relevant to its creation.

    I wouldn’t be too quick to shoot someone down who got stuck with that lineup of cars. You could be the most talented marketer on the planet, but if they handed you the G6 and told you to use it to beat the Accord, then you would have lost before you had even begun.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    @psarhjinian: I am an engineer, and I agree with you. But I have also seen engineers who can do those other jobs quite well, and better than those with the educational background and titles.

    As for the video, I am personally dead-set against built-in-vehicle entertainment for kids. I tell my own to look out the window and see how grand the countryside is, read a book, talk to someone, or take a nap. What a shame to drive 5 hours and all you’ve seen are two movie reruns for the 15th time. They can do that at home, and it won’t cost me thousands of dollars.

    So when Susan Docherty tries to sell me on USB, backup cameras, and Wii ports, I am definitely not there.

    And while the fun starts at $25k, the loaded version goes up to $38k.

  • avatar
    lahru

    You are missing the point.

    Can you imagine Toyota ditching the Camry. For a new 4 door sedan with a “new” name?

    To be fair, there’s a reason for that: “Camry” has positive brand equity, while most of what GM has sold has not. It makes sense to abandon a model name when it becomes a liability.

    It’s a moot point, though, when your whole brand is tarnished.

    I sell cars and my mother called me several years ago and asked why Ford doesn’t make the Taurus anymore. I told her that they had renamed the Taurus the 500.

    She said, I don’t want a 500, I want a Taurus and if I can’t get one I will look maybe at something else.

    These people who purchased, say a Cavalier and were happy with them, went back to their local Chevrolet dealer looking to buy another and were told as soon as they walked in the door. Oh, “we don’t sell the Cavalier anymore” but we do have it’s replacement the “Cobalt”.

    In the minds of these buyers they think that maybe we just got lucky with “our” Cavalier and it was so bad they canceled it.

    The initial conversation walking in the door promoted a negative thought from these buyers and not only do they take it as a slap in the face, but any confidence in the whole car company is just evaporated.

    “Hey, you just pissed on my leg”!

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    A few thoughts:
    1. If you think Toyota will never ditch the name Camry, then you don’t remember the Corona.

    2. She does a solid job talking up the Terrain’s personality, but I just can’t get past that thing’s looks. Once again, GM has taken a softroader and tried to butch it up, just like they did with theit minivans. Maybe the Buick version will be more attractive.

    3. Robert is right. GM should leave the position open, perhaps permanently. That might send the message that the focus is on producing the best cars, not on selling whatever it is the factories currently produce.

  • avatar
    ajla

    @Pch101:
    How anyone could have been expected to promote the Buick-Pontiac-GMC channel effectively is beyond me.

    Docherty may have been given an uphill battle, but her time with the BPG channel was an absolute pig abortion. I think there’s a big range between beating the Accord with the G6 and the “results” she achieved.

    High success with HUMMER would definitely be a tough job with rising gas prices, but I would have hoped she could have avoided making it the most vilified auto brand on the planet.

    Even if she’s largely blameless, and the trail of debris she leaves everywhere is just a coincidence, at the very least, her tenure at GM shows that she has no ability to put a stop to Lutz’s/GM’s terrible ideas. That means it’s just going to be business as usual.

  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    Re my comments on engineer – I still stand by it. You’ve got to build something that actually WORKS. MBAs don’t hack it. Accountants don’t hack it.

    And salesbimbos most certainly won’t hack it.

    The only car GM makes that’s even remotely competitive is the ‘Vette. How many accountants/salessloths/etc are in that group?

    Sorry, I ain’t buying the act. GM built junk and promoted idiots for years. Now we’re paying for it.

    Obama on them.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    her tenure at GM shows that she has no ability to put a stop to Lutz’s/GM’s terrible ideas.

    Lutz is her superior. I don’t know how she would be able to override the boss.

    I don’t know enough about her to know what she would do if she was in a higher position of authority or if she didn’t have Henderson and Lutz above her. I do know that Lutz in his present position is a textbook example of the Peter Principle in action, and that he needs to either be relegated to a lesser role, such as management of the truck line or else pushed out entirely.

    One of GM’s largest legacy costs is its excessive expectations for marketing. Because it used to work well for them in the past, they assume that it still will. They need to realize that the car market is much more competitive that it once was, and that marketing has only so much value when trying to sell a second-rate product.

  • avatar
    lahru

    I am not in disagreement that ditching models is a fact of the car biz.

    SherbornSean :
    October 7th, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    A few thoughts:
    1. If you think Toyota will never ditch the name Camry, then you don’t remember the Corona

    It is just when you do it over and over again you lose credibility and customers.

    Go back and look at the successful sellers that GM has had over the years and they preferred to change names and platform, at considerable cost, rather than change the quality of the product and every time they chose to shed a successful model they lost market share.

    GM’s motto should be, “we don’t make good cars, we just make new ones”

  • avatar
    50merc

    OK, critics, what would you do if you had her job?

  • avatar

    50merc

    Float away on my golden parachute. STAT.

  • avatar
    tpandw

    I just watched the video. Good grief! When she went to the two zombie kids in the back (especially Cameron who appeared to have been taken over by some alien force) I nearly lost it. If GM thinks this is marketing, well, it’s only a matter of time until it’s really, really over. (Not to mention that this is a truly ugly vehicle.) On the subject of vehicle names, BTW, that’s really been the only realm in which GM has demonstrated creativity over the past 30 years or so. They have come up with an astounding number of names, some absolutely laughable, but many pretty good. If they’d been actually able to create equally attractive products they wouldn’t be in this mess today.

  • avatar
    Adub

    Marketing needs to have its budget eliminated and the entire staff fired. Witness the orgy of ads over the past two years as bankruptcy became inevitable (12 page spreads in the buff books), the Volt hype before the actual filing (230 MPG, coming next year), and the other vapor.

    Hell, they flooded Rush Limbaugh’s program with ads as they were circling the drain, hoping they could appeal to middle America to buy their cars and trucks, oblivious to the fact that Rush and his listeners were adamantly against the bailout.

    Retards. All of them.

    A chimpanze flinging excrement at the wall could do a better job.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    OK, critics, what would you do if you had her job?

    Quit.

    No, really. I’d quit. Part of being good at what you do is knowing when you’re tasked with the functionally impossible. And that’s the case here: she doesn’t have the current or products to sell nor the support and autonomy from upper management to effect the changes necessary in what has been a change-averse organization.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    I still stand by it. You’ve got to build something that actually WORKS. MBAs don’t hack it. Accountants don’t hack it.

    Again, Lutz is an engineer and everything he’s pushed out save the Malibu has been a sales failure, and some of this work has been colossally stupid. Just because you can build something doesn’t mean you know:
    * If it’s the right thing to build for the time
    * If you can motivate the people who work for or with you into helping you build it
    * If you can convince your market to buy what you buld versus the products built by your equally-clever peers at your competition.

    Engineers can design and build a good product, but they’re not trained to think like marketers or accountants and, if left unchecked, will make cars that are wonderful technical exercises, yet complete commercial failures. Then they’d subsequently stand around pouting about how no one appreciates their genius. Which is what Lutz is doing, incidentally. Did I mention he’s an engineer?

    Not all engineers are like this, just not like all (or many) accountants or MBAs or whatevers are as bad as you make them out to be. The problem, regardless of profession, is a lack of discipline, accountability and leadership. That doesn’t go away of your name is suffixed with P.Eng any more than it would if it ended in M.B.A. or C.A.

    The only car GM makes that’s even remotely competitive is the ‘Vette. How many accountants/salessloths/etc are in that group?

    Probably about as many as any other group. Heck, you probably got the cream of the crop from marketing to push it, and accounting probably signed off on whatever anyone wanted.

    The difference is that the Corvette was designed without compromise, where the Aveo was a compromise first and a car second. Neither car will save GM, but it has nothing to do with the number of engineers involved and everything to do with the commitment, or lack thereof, of the whole organization to the project.

  • avatar
    Daanii2

    There are plenty of outsiders who could come into GM in this situation and do a good job. Had Obama asked someone like Mitt Romney or Frank Macher to go in and take over GM, I think they might have brought in some good people and turned things around.

    GM is not a unique company — many other companies in many other industries have been in similar straits. Some have survived. Others not. Good turnaround people exist.

    But what is going on there now is just ridiculous. I remember one of the last times a government ran a car company. In East Germany the government ran Trabant. The waiting list for those sorry excuses for cars was, at one time, 20 years.

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    OK, critics, what would you do if you had her job?

    Quit.

    Ah, this is one problem with GM in a nutshell. The reason sh** floats to the top of the organization is that the many of the people who care, are passionate about building and selling good products, and have innovative thoughts gave up years ago and left out of frustration. Not all of them, of course, but enough that those who are left learn quickly that getting ahead has more to do with whose ass you kiss rather than how well you perform.

    When I was at the University of Michigan years ago getting my MBA (please, be kind) Jack Smith attended one of our classes in which we were discussing some crises the company had gone through. The class basically tore him a new orifice (fun to watch, actually, as I’m sure it was rare for the chairman of GM to be told anything without many layers of whitewash).

    After he left we discussed the case with the professor who said something to the effect of “you have to give the guy some credit, he has been with GM for 45 years and rose to the top position of the company.” Most of the students (most of whom had no automotive background) laughed at that thought that this was a measure of his ability or smarts as much as a measure of his ability to navigate the politics of GM. Indeed, even ten years ago GM was the example of how to NOT run a company in b-school.

  • avatar

    “Nobody died today; you did a good job.”
    Why doesn’t my job have this kind of promotion mentality?

  • avatar
    toxicroach

    Billy Mays never ended an infomercial with “it’s definitely something worth considering.” That is some weaksauce right there.

  • avatar

    # Pch101 :
    You could be the most talented marketer on the planet, but if they handed you the G6 and told you to use it to beat the Accord, then you would have lost before you had even begun.

    The Epsilon’s a good platform. The G6’s misfortune was that it was the first out of the block, so it didn’t have the development and interior upgrades of the Saturn Aura and the Malibu, but it’s not a bad car. Not an Accord beater, but it sold pretty well when it came out – they even had Orion running additional shifts.

    Actually, comparing the Malibu to the G6 shows that GM has gotten religion concerning interior design.

    You guys should have been around in the bad old days when cars were really crappy. Cars are so reliable these days that people whine about cheap looking plastic panels.

  • avatar

    Bob Lutz isn’t an engineer. His bachelor’s degree is in production management and he also has an MBA. He’s definitely on the product side of things but he’s not an engineer.

  • avatar
    CarPerson

    Consumer Reports rated one Malibu 9th in class and another 13th.

    When the pride of the fleet gets such a drubbing yet the home office is thrilled, it should be pretty clear how this train wreck is going to come out.

  • avatar
    Eric Bryant

    I don’t know what spawned the engineer hatred here, but to set the record straight, Lutz is not a degreed propeller-head. His BS is in Production Management, and he also has an MBA. I think a more accurate criticism of his skills is that he is fundamentally an outsider who does his best work when running against the grain. Put one of those types in charge of everything – where they are The Man – and things don’t work so well. Lots of engineers fall into this category, by the way.

    On the topic of product vs. marketing woes – GM has both. The company seems largely unable to connect with the needs of its prospective customers, and that generates disappointing product. And the company still doesn’t get the concept that brand is what the customers think about the company and its products. This shows up in Lutz’s frequent ranting about the “perception gap”; what he fails to realize is that perception is reality.

  • avatar

    Heck, you probably got the cream of the crop from marketing to push it, and accounting probably signed off on whatever anyone wanted.

    The difference is that the Corvette was designed without compromise,

    The Corvette is designed to a price point just like every other car made in the world. Why do you think people quibble about the ZR-1’s “cheap” interior?

    Still, it’s probably easier to design and build a profitable $50,000 sports car than it is to build a class competitive midsize or compact.

  • avatar
    MikeInCanada

    It’s marketing’s job to tell the engineers what to design and build along with the finance and schedule constraints that go along with it.

    If marketing says “make it 10% cheaper, faster, wider, etc.” they’ll do it. If they’re clever, well that’s just gravy.

    I’ve worked in engineering dept’s for both types of companies – marketing led and engineer led. Seriously, having marketing set up the big picture is better.

    However, and this is a big one – If you have a crummy marketing dept. the company is doomed. When they make a mistake – it’s fatal.

  • avatar
    Prado

    Can you imagine Toyota ditching the Camry. For a new 4 door sedan with a “new” name?

    Actually Toyota does the same thing when their products become duds in the market. The Yaris replaced the ‘awesome’ Echo. In Europe Toyota no longer sells a Corolla..it now sells the Auris.

    You can get a pretty good idea of the health of any of the automakers just by how long they have been able to keep a nameplate around and relevant.

  • avatar
    texmln

    Chicks.

  • avatar
    WetWilly

    That’s some vote of confidence from Fritz there, i.e. “We can’t pay a real person to do the job so Susan will have to do.”

    Regardless, that embarrassing “The new class of world class” crap Buick is pushing onto the LaCrosse ought to have disqualified Docherty immediately.

  • avatar
    lahru

    Save all of the blame for GM’s downfall placed at the feet of it’s employees and place it where it belongs.

    On the the grave of it’s last true leader.

    Alfred Sloan’s replacement started the downhill slide and here we are today with no real leadership since. At least no one who had a vision of what GM could be, just a vision of what GM was.

  • avatar
    Daanii2

    What in the world is a “programmable lift gate”? Sounds expensive, but what does it do? Is a personal computer used to open the rear door?

  • avatar
    kowsnofskia

    Note to engineers: being an engineer does not automatically mean you’re good at everything. What about being an engineer automatically qualifies you to be a good marketer? A motivator or leader? A turnaround expert? A manager?

    Answer: nothing.

    What exactly is your big beef with engineers, sir? Every so often you seem to make some kind of holier-than-thou, irritating smug comment that implies that engineers are far beneath you in the food chain.

  • avatar
    Omnifan

    I think there’s a new set of code words emerging here.

    “Mark’s done a heck of a job in a very difficult environment going through this,”

    Didn’t Bush the Inept tell the head of FEMA he was doing a “heck of a job” during the turmoil following Hurricane Katrina?

    “Heck of a job” = “Complete Incompetent”

  • avatar
    Bunter1

    Well, her hair is better.

    (and I’m a bald guy)

    Bunter

  • avatar
    rmwill

    @Daanii2

    My this thread has deteriorated… Mitt Romney as a GM savior? A management consultant turned annoying politican? I want some of that stuff you are smoking.

  • avatar
    PeteMoran

    OK, critics, what would you do if you had her job?

    Grab every piece of advice I could on customer retention. Swing nearly every piece of marketing/sales budget to customer retention. Build owner-to-competitor word-of-mouth buying recommendation.

    End “incentives”. Re-price every product downward and admit that GM and it’s various brands are back there in “value” land. Find out what “value” means to potential customers from Chevy to Cadillac alike.

    Merge Buick and Cadillac, eliminate “options”. One price, one package.

    Hike the price of the Corvette by at least 25%. Spin it off as a separate division. Performance responsibilities can be vested with “Corvette”. Select GM models can be “Corvette” performance (rather than SS). (Equivalent of BMW M, AMG etc).

    Hike the price of high-end trucks, GMC-only, leave a “value” product around the place for the proletarians to buy.

    It would be expensive, but no questions asked 10 year, 250000 mile warranty for Cadillac (merged with Buick).

    Complete external re-eval of the Volt. Is the tech any good? Spin it off and license it out. Contract build for others. Brand “Volt” as green, which requires TOTAL separation from anti-environmental baggage that is GM.

    (These assume that; dealers continue to close and that plants and platforms/models drop off).

    Caveat: good product still desperately needed to come through in the small car space.

    Happy to be shot down – I’ve never even glanced at a GM car outside a hire-car lot. Rides in Holden Commodore’s obviously.

  • avatar
    nevets248

    “What’s nice about this career is that you get to interact with people from all different walks of life who all have different interests,” Susan explained. “But at the end of the day, we all want to make design, build, manufacture, and sell great cars and trucks. And that, to me, is pretty exciting.”

    “For me personally, this 22-year journey is one that I could never have written what it would be about. Back in my early 20s, I had no idea (what it would be like), but if the next 10 or 20 years are as exciting as the first 22,” Susan exclaimed, “then I am the luckiest person in the world!”

    looks like you got your wish,bitch.
    Hopefully you will crash and burn before the next Obama-bailout.

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    Well, Auto Illiterate Retards are people too… and they deserve the (multi-?)-million dollar a year LaMoron job in the so-called “New” GM… or really the “same as the BAD OLD GM”…

  • avatar
    John Horner

    WTF.

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    “# Michael Karesh :
    October 7th, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    Daanii2: GM has plenty of people with degrees from Harvard and Stanford–including Susan Docherty.

    I don’t know enough about Susan Docherty to say whether or not this is a bad move. From the time I spent observing life inside GM, I learned that you can tell next to nothing about what these people are actually like and what they are capable of from reading their depictions in the press.”

    GIVE ME AN EFFING BREAK!

    You really do not know? Then it is YOUR FAULT TOO! Because the handwriting on the wall and the indisputable data, GM’s HORRIBLE, nauseating slide in market share from 55% in the late 70s to 30% in the 90s to 20% now, and to 10% and, assuming there is a GOD and it HELPS THE US TAXPAYER, to 0% SOON,

    should show everybody but the BRAIN -DEAD and those who cover for these losers, that GM Management has been an ARROGANT, Incompetent bunch, that has been losing HOME GAMES 35 years in a row and blaming everybody else for it. And DOherty is the latest, and even worse addition, the pinnacle of cluelessness and arrogance.

    If you think your precious Ron Zarella was bad enough, wait to see how the able (NOT!) successor of that loser LaNeve does…

  • avatar
    mikedt

    “Her market is those who race out to a new car, fling open the door, jump in, and start playing with the radio and navigation system to the total abandonment of the rest of the vehicle.

    General Motors is convinced this is how EVERYONE buys a new car.”

    It may not be how everyone buys a car but I’m thinking it’s safe to say that’s how MOST people buy a car. (Although their first step is to probably check out CU’s reliability ratings.) They’re eagerly waiting for self navigating vehicles. They want the car to look nice, be reliable and to have as much insulation from the actual chore of driving as possible.

  • avatar
    wmba

    “Docherty graduated from Stanford University in 2004 as a Sloan Fellow with Distinction. As a native of Canada, she earned two undergraduate degrees from the University of Windsor: a Bachelor of Commerce in Business Administration with a major in marketing; and a Bachelor of Arts majoring in economics.”

    Where’s this engineering degree all those posts above are nattering about? Docherty seems to have done well in academic circles. Now as an engineer, for which I’m definitely not going to apologize, I think she has all the qualifications necessary to lead the pink bunny brigade at GM. With red balloons for the next spring “Discount Plus $10K back Wowee Sales Event”.

  • avatar
    highrpm

    Normally I would just shake my head and chuckle at this obviously poor decision.

    It’s not so funny when my tax money is being spent on this PR chick though.

  • avatar
    prthug

    ((psarhjinian :
    October 7th, 2009 at 7:24 pm
    She an engineer?
    Thought so. Feggetagowdit. GM is doomed.
    Lutz is an engineer. See how well that went?))

    Lutz is not an engineer. So much for knowing what you’re talking about.

    Second, this idiotic contention that if anyone had any executive job at GM means they’re unqualified is complete BS. The fact that so many of its executives are being hired away by other companies (and not just top folks such as LaNeve, but a sea of lower down execs) is proof there are good people in GM’s ranks. You think it’s easy to run a company with a $123 Billion in liabilities? You think this is the complete fault of the current management team? Get a clue fellas…it’s a tad more complicated than you’re painting. Granted, nothing short of results is going to change anything..but the new GM is all of 12 weeks into things in the middle of depression in the auto biz. And BTW, how do you hire someone from the “outside” to come to Detroit when you can’t pay them?! If it took $28 million to get Mullaly, do you think the tax payers are going to pony up for what it would take to come to GM in Detroit from California or NY? Think about it.

  • avatar
    mach1

    Reposted from GM Zombie Watch 6:

    I don’t know Susan Docherty but I am all to familiar with her type.

    “Her list of accomplishments at General Motors is long, and includes assignments in four different countries (Canada, Switzerland, Germany, and the United States) working with all eight GM brands (Buick, Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC, Hummer, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, and Saturn).”

    Translation: She is adept at climbing the ladder at GM and got lots of “punches in her ticket” along the way. I doubt if she had a clue as to what the customers were like for very many of the products she worked on. Sarah Palin probably understands Trucks and SUVs better than Ms. Docherty. You don’t learn your customer from a briefing book.
    . . . . . . .
    At 45 years of age, she has a lot to learn. I wish her well.

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    “I got nothing,” pt. IV.

    Susan is clueless and she’s being set up for the next revelation of GM’s malaise.

  • avatar
    texlovera

    Dear God. It’s worse than I expected!

    They didn’t replace Curly with Shemp. They replaced him with CURLY JOE!!!

  • avatar
    Pig_Iron

    Out of the frying pan, and into the fire.

  • avatar
    ZoomZoom

    Even if they’re very bright, very accomplished, one should never, ever, EVER allow their kids to be video’d for an advertisement while they’re playing video games. The vacant look is bad enough as it is, but now to top it off, they’ve been immortalized that way!

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    I guess Ron Zarella wasn’t available.

    I see that TTAC got quoted again over at Mickey Kaus’ Slate.com blog, great work guys!

  • avatar
    Morea

    Pch101 :

    her tenure at GM shows that she has no ability to put a stop to Lutz’s/GM’s terrible ideas.

    Lutz is her superior. I don’t know how she would be able to override the boss.

    This comment really struck me.

    If you are passionate about something for your organization then you either 1) convince your boss to allow you to make it happen, 2) get out of the organization and find another one that values employees and their passions/ideas, or 3) say “OK, you’re the boss!”.

    I would guess GM is filled with many, many type threes.

    This isn’t really a comment about GM as much as a comment about large organizations in general.

    When the boss is unbending and “always right” it’s only a matter of time before some upstart organization eats your lunch.

  • avatar
    vww12

    She only spoke about the car’s gadgets, which frankly, sound OK, particularly if this is a lower-priced vehicle (I wouldn’t know, I had never heard of it and can’t be bothered).

    I liked the rear-door lock button design: upfront, and lighted. On my two most recent 4-door cars, these were pushbuttons and it was almost impossible to figure out what position these were on.

    Agree with the above poster, “something to consider” is not a very good closing at all: she needs to push her copywriters harder.

    Was shooting some sort of video blog the best use of a top executive’s time, however? Doubtful.

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    “Docherty seems to have done well in academic circles”

    Don’t insult academic cycles. the ignorant chick has NOTHING to do with academia ecxept being a student there once. and most likely been socially promoted and graduated. She does not even have an effing PhD for gawd’s sakes! Not that she needs one, and not that today’s PhDs from most but the very top US Univs count for anything.

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    Maybe she, like LaNeve, will serve as the “new” (LOL) GM’s “Fall person” and take the hits for that clown Henderson and his merry, clueless and arrogant bunch of losers.

  • avatar
    highrpm

    I know I already posted, but then I continued to read some of the comments later in the article, defending Docherty’s credentials as well as the credentials of her co-workers.

    The company is a failure. They took our tax money, lots of it, to remain operational. Nobody should skate from the blame.

    Nearly all of the management structure that sank GM is still working at GM. Their only plan forward seems to be taking more bailout money.

    It saddens me to say that the Saturday Night Live skit where the big 3 execs drove out to see Congress for money is coming true…

  • avatar
    jpcavanaugh

    OK, Susan is in sales now. Big deal. I think we are missing the real story here – Susan is OUT of Buick, which is a post that really matters.

  • avatar
    andyinsdca

    @50Merc:

    To paraphrase Napoleon, I wouldn’t be caught in that situation.

  • avatar
    brettc

    She got business degrees from the University of Windsor? No further questions then…

    GM has signed up for another helping of fail. Should have left the job unfilled until they could have hired someone with a clue from the outside.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    What exactly is your big beef with engineers, sir? Every so often you seem to make some kind of holier-than-thou, irritating smug comment that implies that engineers are far beneath you in the food chain.

    I truly don’t have a beef with engineers. I’ve work with and for a number of them and by and large they’re no better or worse than any profession. What grinds my gears is when engineers automatically assume that you have to be an engineer in order to know anything about certain industries—in this case, auto manufacturing.

    It’s one of those memes in automobilia** that gets repeated so often that people think it’s true: you have to be an engineer in order to be a competent executive in auto manufacturing (or software, or electronics, or bridges, etc). . This is not only patently false, it’s also dangerous to the industry in question: while it helps to know in general terms how your product is made, you only need to be an engineer to do actual engineering (or have an accounting degree to work in a CA firm, or have an MD in order to practice medicine on someone). If you think you need to do engineering work in order to be a vice president, you’re likely going to be the kind of VP who micromanages and ignores the bigger picture.

    I didn’t say that being an engineer precludes someone from management, only that dismissing someone like Docherty or La Neve or Henderson based on their not having an engineering degree is wrong and provided examples of the last two leaders of Toyota, who were not engineers and were yet very successful. GM’s problem is not that the engineers are shackled by beancounters and how everything would be better if the accountants and MBAs just f_cked off, as we like to think, it’s that the management culture as a whole is sick: there’s no accountability, no responsibility, no true meritocracy. Just being an engineer doesn’t change any of that—it would, at best, just make the flame-out more exciting.

    This happens, I think, because a lot of the armchair pundits are automotive engineers themselves and can clearly see the poor engineering that’s coming out of GM. The problem is that, even when GM does engineer a good product, it’s not something that will sell at both high volumes and for profit, either because it’s badly-targeted (eg, it’s something only a few people will buy) or the marketing is wholly incompetent.

    PS. I stand corrected about Bob Lutz. I’ll just start using executives from Daimler as examples instead.

    ** Engineering is far from the only profession that suffers from this. Accountancy has a similar tendency, only from a different direction: that because they understand the flow of business that they automatically understand all aspects of the business. You’ll see it again in Medicine, which has real problems, as a group, being managed by non-doctors as well as with doctors who move to administration and are patently not good at it.

  • avatar
    greenb1ood

    I’m officially ENDING the Engineer / Finance / MBA debate. I have had experience working with lots of people in the wonderful world of OEM and Tier 1 automotive suppliers.

    My work has allowed me to look up and down the white collar chain in almost every department and I can say with utmost certainty that while each individual is different, the BEST automotive managers I have met have had an engineering undergrad+graduate coupled with an MBA.

    They understand how to build the best widgets, and the ramifications of doing so without focusing on costs and/or customer satisfaction. They also seem to know what they don’t know. After working so hard to understand business after mastering engineering they tend to let the design experts and the marketing experts do their thing without too much meddling. The people that use these backgrounds to balance their decision-making have turned out some very good work.

    (and no engineering bias here…I have an undergraduate in Supply Chain Management and finishing an MBA focused on Supply Chain and Marketing.)

  • avatar
    CarPerson

    About a year ago (search the archives) a Detroit newspaper reporter wrote that she was shocked and amazed at the depth of hatred towards General Motors shown by the rest of the country. She could not believe the absolute loathing people had for GM.

    This total disgust for anything GM appears to have gotten worse instead of better.

    Very wise and knowledgeable people have written what it’s going to take to right this ship. Getting Mark LaNeve out of there was high on the list. Putting a “C” person in just to hold down the fort while other more pressing issues are resolved may prove to be Ok in the end.

    What should be the next steps? Strip $2,000 of “Administrative & Corporate” overhead pork from each vehicle, two, re-content each vehicle $1,000 (GM cost) for reliability, warranty issues, and perceived value, and three, drop the layer upon layer of discounts endemic throughout.

    Enough already with the stupid pricing games at both the corporate and dealer levels.

  • avatar
    greenb1ood

    Oh, and good luck Susan Docherty. Me thinks you will soon rue the day you were excited about your ‘promotion’, but for the sake of my tax dollars, I hope you succeed.

    P.S. – Nothing you could say would get me to purchase a GM vehicle. The product has to be world class in every sense before I will consider it.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    If you are passionate about something for your organization then you either 1) convince your boss to allow you to make it happen, 2) get out of the organization and find another one that values employees and their passions/ideas, or 3) say “OK, you’re the boss!”.

    I would guess GM is filled with many, many type threes.

    Most companies are. Managers who go against the grain don’t survive as managers.

    That’s why the top of the food chain is critical. Ultimately, they define the culture, and if their choice is to stifle innovation and dissent, then there isn’t much that their underlings can do about it, and they’ll end up breeding a culture of managers who fit their mold.

    Incidentally, I have an MBA. As is the case with one poster above, GM was used as a case study of what **not** to do with a company.

    The way up through GM has been through engineering or finance. The early GM was almost destroyed by an engineer (Durant), only to be saved by another engineer who made a point of not acting like one (Sloan.)

    Blaming degrees and education is a copout, frankly. The real problem is the corporate culture, which comes from within, not from where people earned their degrees.

    As is true with many companies, GM was a get-along-or-get-out kind of company. There was no dissent because the system was designed to quash dissent. To think that the lack of business degrees could fix that is just foolish and shortsighted. If anything, they would have learned in their MBA programs what was wrong with GM. Just because they studied it doesn’t mean that they could have done anything about it, even if they had wanted to.

  • avatar

    God may strike me dead for saying this but, based on what few (if any) REAL improvements she has made, I swear she slept her way to the top.
    Ok. OK. I’ll leave now,,,

  • avatar
    Geotpf

    SherbornSean :
    October 7th, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    A few thoughts:
    1. If you think Toyota will never ditch the name Camry, then you don’t remember the Corona.

    Toyota will ditch names from time to time. But once they get it right, they stick with the name. And, right now, in sedans, they’ve got it right across the board. I’ll bet twenty years from now Toyota’s sedan line will be Yaris/Corolla/Camry/Avalon, just like today, with a uber-efficient Prius in there somewhere. Their minivan will be called the Sienna, just like today. Their pickups will be called the Tacoma and Tundra, just like today.

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    Commando, I think its the other ‘Peter’ principle we were talking about here. Even so, this would be more like sleeping your way to the middle.

  • avatar
    stars9texashockey

    tpandw: freakin hilarious.

    The fact that the video is for yet another badge engineered “brand new” GM model says it all.

  • avatar
    rpol35

    New depths in pathetic advertising; GM’s Jill Wagner???

    I saw a Terrain this morning. IMO it physically stunk it was so awkwardly ugly. The only reason GM is keeping GMC is because they really believe that people will want to keep buying trucks and SUV’s when this “fuel thing” goes away and everything is nice and fun again. A double barrel blast I guess from Chevrolet & GMC.

    If GM spent half the time, attention and effort on building a world class, fuel efficient, reliable, technologically current car as they did on this turd, we wouldn’t be having most of these GM discussions on TTAC.

  • avatar
    Bridge2far

    Nice. Many experts here already have Ms. Docherty figured out. “Ignorant chick”, “…slept her way to the top.”, “Curly Joe”, “Auto illiterate retards”. Best and Brightest? Amazing. More like a TTAC stoked hatefest. Pathetic.

  • avatar
    CamaroKid

    Fix the 90 day link.

  • avatar
    rnc

    Everyone is right about GM’s management, but what are they supposed to do? Who would want to come in at what they can pay? What lower level “E” would want to hang thier reputation/future on Henderson?

    This is a symptom of the government funding the bankruptcy, in most bankruptcies a star CEO is brought in at a high cost (who hand picks his E team at a high costs, not future stock, but cash), the government won’t allow this for political reasons and it will only quicken the end.

    The people at the bottom have to have confidence in the people at the top, or they will spend more time looking for a way out then on actually working (I’ve experienced that, it’s depressing and only feeds itself).

    Everyone keeps talking about these great golden parachutes, they aren’t there anymore, people seem to think that a few million is a gold mine (and it is for most people), but when you make that much, you spend that much, look at J. Press, he’s getting ready to file for bankruptcy and lose everything and a two years ago he was “the” star american auto executive.

    She is being put in the same position as Lavene, probably given an impossible task, the pressure will build and build she will realize that and leave, it’s how you get rid of E’s (especially female or minority) without the lawsuits.

    I imagine that Whitaker is already using his vast lobbying powers (republican and democrat) to find a loophole to allow him to bring someone in at the price it will take, that is the only way this will turn around.

  • avatar
    Daanii2

    @Daanii2

    My this thread has deteriorated… Mitt Romney as a GM savior? A management consultant turned annoying politican? I want some of that stuff you are smoking.

    Are you aware of Mitt Romney’s career before he went into politics? The man made $500 million as he built one of the premier private equity firms from scratch. He knows how to go into a company, figure out what to do, and then get the people together to do it. He saved the Salt Lake Olympics from scandal and failure by doing just that.

    I’m not a fan of his politically, but I think he is one of the brightest and most capable business people in the United States. Alone among major politicians last year, his published comments about GM turned out to be exactly right. I would love to have seen him take over GM. Lou Gertsner did a great job turning IBM around. Maybe Romney could have done the same thing.

    Even apart from Romney, there are plenty of people around who would be much better than Fritz Henderson and, as this thread discusses, Susan Docherty. GM needs to change to survive, and change a lot. These people cannot change. They don’t know how. It’s like putting a racehorse in harness to pull a plow.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    God may strike me dead for saying this but, based on what few (if any) REAL improvements she has made, I swear she slept her way to the top.

    The sexism really doesn’t help your argument nor bolster your credibility.

    GM was mismanaged by a predominantly male management team. If you want to lay blame based upon gender — and I wouldn’t — then you have to point the fingers at the men who ran it into the ground.

  • avatar
    jmatt

    As others have stated, GM’s problem is not its marketing. It’s problem is that it has a 30 year reputation for selling union-manufactured hunks of sh!t.

    If they started producing absolutely *perfect* automobiles tomorrow, it would *still* take 20 years to live down their reputation.

    If I was Obama, I’d start wondering if it would be wise to drive a stake through the heart of this thing quickly — or it will linger in death juuuuust long enough to die on his doorstep in the 2012 elections.

  • avatar
    rmwill

    @Daanii2

    I know a lot about Mitt… His operational experience included the hopelessly clueless Salt Lake City Olympics and trainwreck of a presidential campaign. His decision to pose in front of Christmas trees to assure Christians that he was “one of them” is equivalent of “Iron” Mike Dukakis’ tank ride.

    Operational successes are necessary, not just lucrative investment achievments. Besides, nearly anyone could have made money during that time period. Mitt is really good a speaking in MBA doublespeak. I know the breed… I am an ex consulting MBA.

  • avatar
    ChristyGarwood

    Hello to all from inside GM, greenb1ood’s and psarhjinian’s comments struck me.

    Oodles of GM salary employees have engineering undergrad degrees coupled with MBAs (Eg. I know someone who has an BSM(echanical)E-double major in manufacturing engineering and industrial administration with an MBA-double major in marketing and IS&S), but few have risen to the top of any function except maybe engineering. The point is that lots of folks doing their job have a well-rounded, multi-disciplined education.

    GM’s problems cross all functions – product styling, product design, manufacturing and tool design, purchasing, marketing, sales, finance, R&D, assembly, stamping, powertrain manufacturing, component manufacturing, IS&S.

    It will take all functions to operate differently to turn what the commentators here call the “Titanic” around to profitability for not only the US taxpayer, but the Canadian taxpayers as well.

    One good thing I can say about Docherty’s promotion is that it puts a woman’s voice on the executive committee which adds to its diversity.
    Diversity could lead to better decision making.

  • avatar
    rmwill

    @ChristyGarwood

    If having a womans voice results in patronizing things like in vehicle washing machines and videos like the one above, I think the results will be a disaster.

    I do take offense at the comments about her sleeping her way to the top. She rose to the top just like all GM lifers who do, by not making waves and moving to a new job before the incompetence can be discovered.

  • avatar
    greenb1ood

    @ChristyGarwood

    Make no mistake, I was basing my comments on healthy companies with healthy cultures and I think you’ve hit the nail on the head:

    “few have risen to the top of any function except maybe engineering.”

    When these people do rise to the top they tend to be successful, but the one-trick ponies that are already there tend to be a little afraid of promoting them.

    I wish you well at the General, we do a lot of business with GM and they are the most infuriating customer I can think of…

    I hope more GM employees with the right stuff start getting promoted, but I’m sure it will take a Mullaly-esque change at the top before those changes start to come.

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    “I do take offense at the comments about her sleeping her way to the top. She rose to the top just like all GM lifers who do, by not making waves and moving to a new job before the incompetence can be discovered.”

    I also would not say that she slept her way to the top without any evidence.

    However, there may be another explanation, maybe Gm wanted to get rid of her, BUT GM’s MASTERS, the Auto Illiterate Politically Correct gang in the White House, of Chicago Corruption fame, wants to install more women and minorities, and is willing to drop its standards to do so.

    We see this every day in universities all over the US. In one example, a top U hired a woman as its new president (at a modest $500,000k a year-but note it is a public U in a state that is now near ruin!), and she promptly started 5 years of hiring exclusively women (and the occasional minority) for all the cushy jobs of Deans and VPS, who typically get 300k-400k a year plus perks, and have an army of subordinates, so they do not really have to do any work. As an older colleague once said, at the Dean’s building, “even the secretaries have secretaries!”

  • avatar
    Dynamic88

    Note to engineers: being an engineer does not automatically mean you’re good at everything. What about being an engineer automatically qualifies you to be a good marketer? A motivator or leader? A turnaround expert? A manager?

    Most engineers aren’t even very good at engineering.

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    Engineers get things done, and do not have to take off their shoes to count beyond 10, or drop their pants to count beyond 20.

    Engineers are GROSSLY underpaid in society, especially the TOP, super-engineers, not those that run in terror when you say words like “Calculus”, “Theorem”, “Proof” and the like.

    MBAs are grossly OVER-valued. I thought so when I did my own (free, on the side, was already engin student w. fellowship) MBA at Sloan, and at that most quantitative and engineer-intensive place, MIT, some time ago.

    There is a HUGE amount of BS uttered by those pretending to be “Leaders”, “Motivational Speakers”, “Marketing Persons”, and the like.

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    “Engineers are GROSSLY underpaid in society”, and this is why 50% of our engineers are FOREIGN BORN.

    Why the hell would any person that was born and grew in the USA become an engineer?

    Not only will he make a lousy salary, whgile the MORONS with the MBAs (a few of them) will be top management and travel with the company jet or at least in great comfort, while he or she will always fly in the CATTLE SECTION Economy Coach class,

    He will get little non-$ appreciation anyway. Gone are the days of “rocket scientists” viewed with Awe. Today it is “Brain Surgeon”…LOL.

  • avatar
    Daanii2

    rmwill,

    I think you are confused about the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics. They were in total disarray when Mitt Romney was begged to come in and take them over. He came in, kicked ass, and took names, although in a fairly polite way. Most observers say that, quite literally, he single-handedly saved the Olympics.

    You say most people made money during that time. Really? Romney started Bain Capital in 1984 and still has $500 million today. How many others are like that? Not many that I know. I’m not. Are you?

    Romney turned several companies around to make that money. Unlike his classmate George Bush at the Harvard Business School, Mitt Romney has been successful at almost everything he has done.

    And I don’t even like the guy! I met him and his wife in Boston in 1983, although briefly. I didn’t like him. And I don’t like Mormons (no offense to any Mormons).

    But I admire his skills. Did you see the op-ed piece he wrote last year about what to do about GM and Detroit? Very insightful, in my mind.

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    ChristyGarwood wrote: “One good thing I can say about Docherty’s promotion is that it puts a woman’s voice on the executive committee which adds to its diversity. Diversity could lead to better decision making.”

    If all that can be said in Susan Docherty’s favor is to throw gender card on the table then there is indeed doubt of her ability on the inside too. She’s a GM exec who’s risen tthrough the ranks and is just as suceptible to group think, optimisim bias, role fulfillment, choice supportive bias, or inertia as any other suit in the Corp.

    Bring someone in from outside the corporate cultus; that is the diviersity you need in decision making.

  • avatar
    rpol35

    With GM’s famous(?) reliability it will probably cost $25,000 to fix all of that sophisticated electronic $hit in Susie’s Terrain right after the warranty expires.

  • avatar
    ZoomZoom

    Autosavant :

    Engineers get things done, and do not have to take off their shoes to count beyond 10, or drop their pants to count beyond 20.

    Okay, that one made me laugh. Thanks, I needed that. :)

  • avatar
    ZoomZoom

    ChristyGarwood wrote:

    “One good thing I can say about Docherty’s promotion is that it puts a woman’s voice on the executive committee which adds to its diversity. Diversity could lead to better decision making.”

    panzerfaust responded:

    If all that can be said in Susan Docherty’s favor is to throw gender card on the table then there is indeed doubt of her ability on the inside too. She’s a GM exec who’s risen tthrough the ranks and is just as suceptible to group think, optimisim bias, role fulfillment, choice supportive bias, or inertia as any other suit in the Corp.

    Amen. Well said.

  • avatar
    dzwax

    Wisdom might also lead to better decisions.

  • avatar
    mach1

    Autosavant wrote:
    October 8th, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    “Why the hell would any person that was born and grew in the USA become an engineer?”

    The short answer is “we can;t help it!”
    Engineering is a potentially very satisfying way to earn a living. Engineers usually get pretty good starting salaries. We enjoy solving real problems and making things better. Engineers want to understand how things work. Engineers approach the world in a logical fact based way and deal with the realities of physics. Engineers turn the fantasy if the dreamer into reality. It’s the old left bran / right brain thing. (Engineers are mostly in the left brain camp.)

    The engineering mindset is good for lots of other careers (medicine, science, military, architecture to name a few).

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    “mach1 :
    October 8th, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    Autosavant wrote:
    October 8th, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    “Why the hell would any person that was born and grew in the USA become an engineer?”

    The short answer is “we can;t help it!””

    Yes, I forgot to mention those that go into engineering because they really like it, and/or also are good at it!

    But I have known engineers, mostly female, that went into Engineering because they were very actively recruited by mindless U administrators, who want to reach… 50% Women even in fields such as Automotive where few, if any, women give a damn. Those usually failed Med School or even MBA before going to Engineering Grad school.

  • avatar
    Johnny Canada

    Parents upfront with mp3’s and iphones, kids in the back with videos, and Chauncey locked in the trunk. Everyone blissfully zoned out.

    Sadly, it’s an aspirational image for most Mothers.

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