Docherty Replaces LaNeve: GM's Cultural Revolution More Like Musical Chairs

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

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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  • on Oct 09, 2009

    "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.

  • Johnny Canada Johnny Canada on Oct 11, 2009

    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.

  • Alan I think this vehicle is aimed more at the dedicated offroad traveller. It costs around the same a 300 Series, so its quite an investment. It would be a waste to own as a daily driver, unless you want to be seen in a 'wank' vehicle like many Wrangler and Can Hardly Davidson types.The diesel would be the choice for off roading as its quite torquey down low and would return far superior mileage than a petrol vehicle.I would think this is more reliable than the Land Rovers, BMW make good engines.
  • Lorenzo I'll go with Stellantis. Last into the folly, first to bail out. Their European business won't fly with the German market being squeezed on electricity. Anybody can see the loss of Russian natural gas and closing their nuclear plants means high cost electricity. They're now buying electrons from French nuclear plants, as are the British after shutting down their coal industry. As for the American market, the American grid isn't in great shape either, but the US has shale oil and natural gas. Stellantis has profits from ICE Ram trucks and Jeeps, and they won't give that up.
  • Inside Looking Out Chinese will take over EV market and Tesla will become the richest and largest car company in the world. Forget about Japanese.
  • Joe These guys are asking way to much.. 40% raise, Medical for retired workers, 4 day work week. - Go work a regular job like as an accountant, or Insurance agent and see what you get when you retire! Why do I have to put money in a 401K and these guys get a pension and medical for life. Cars are already to expensive! However at the same time GM is bragging that they are going to be making billions on subscription services in the coming years. If we could all stop being so greedy the world would be a better place
  • Tele Vision Let's not forget the massive used ICE car market that will exist - even after mandated EVs for all.