Quote Of The Day: Help Wanted Edition

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

A person that’s a motivating, inspirational leader that’s familiar with big companies — manufacturing or industrial — would be helpful… We can’t pay people a whole lot of money here

Ed Whitacre offers up the opportunity of a lifetime [via Automotive News [sub]] : a chance to lead General Motors to victory over decades of inertia and sclerosis in a brutal market for a million bucks (if Feinberg likes you). Candidates need not have CEO experience or strong auto credentials, although Whitacre warns that the job takes him 14 hours a day, 5½ or six days a week. And when he does manage to steal away for a relaxing Sunday of rattlesnake extermination, his phone constantly rings. Plus, the RenCen is a freaking maze, y’know?

I’ve had to stop a couple of times and ask guards or people, “Where am I?”

Of course Whitacre means it literally, but the metaphor fits like a Bruno Magli. Whitacre admits to “coming up one, maybe two days a week,” back when he was just Chairman of the Board. Now that he’s living in the RenCen, there’s still a whole lot of learning going on. AN [sub] paints the picture:

“I’m not a car guy,” Whitacre said. “I think we all have to be educated on the board.”

At one point, after a reporter asked about the future of electric vehicles, Whitacre explained that he personally liked them, but he didn’t know enough to make projections. And he said he was just learning automotive terminology, such as “segment.”

But Whitacre is driving some GM vehicles and telling the company’s product development leaders some of what he thinks, he said.

Just learning the term “segment”? Are we talking before, or after Fritz left?

Two of Whitacre’s top priorities are increasing sales and market share, but he’d also like to keep incentives low. When asked about the challenge of doing both, Whitacre said: “I don’t know, but I think we’ll figure it out. We’re all working on that.”

Good thing everybody’s hurrying! ;-)

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Superbadd75 Superbadd75 on Dec 16, 2009

    I don't have CEO experience, but am willing to work for 1/4 of your offerred salary, Mr. Whitacre. I've worked far more hours for far less money, so I can take it. Just don't make me move to Detroit.

  • Jkross22 Jkross22 on Dec 16, 2009

    How 'bout plucking someone from a supplier?? You know, one of those 'business partners' that knows autos, knows where the holes are... I'm not talking from Delphi or Visteon... I'm talking from a mid tier supplier to Toyota, Honda, MB or someone else. Find the best leader with a huge ego and sign him/her up for the challenge of a lifetime.

  • Ted Lulis Head gaskets and Toyota putting my kids through college👍️
  • Leonard Ostrander Plants don't unionize. People do, and yes, of course the workers should organize.
  • Jalop1991 Here's something EVangelists don't want to talk about, and why range is important: battery warranties, by industry standard, specify that nothing's wrong with the battery, and they won't replace it, as long as it is able to carry 70% or more of its specified capacity.So you need a lot of day 1 capacity so that down the road, when you're at 70% capacity with a "fully functioning, no problem" car, you're not stuck in used Nissan Leaf territory."Nothing to see here, move along."There's also the question of whether any factory battery warranty survives past the original new car owner. So it's prudent of any second owner to ask that question specifically, and absent any direct written warranty, assume that the second and subsequent owners own any battery problems that may arise.And given that the batteries are a HUGE expense, much more so than an ICE, such exposure is equally huge."Nothing to see here, move along."
  • Roger hopkins The car is in Poland??? It does look good tho...
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X The push for EV's is part of the increase in our premiums. Any damage near the battery pack and the car is a total loss.