GM's CFO Departs

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
gm s cfo departs

General Motors has announced that Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell will be leaving the company on April 1, “having completed the largest public offering in history and stabilizing the company’s financial operations.” CEO Dan Akerson has denied that Liddell’s departure has anything to do with GM’s first-quarter financial performance or his relationship with the departing CFO, saying “we could finish each others sentences.” The former Microsoft man was brought into GM in January of last year, and helped guide the automaker through its IPO and eliminated its material weaknesses in internal financial controls, apparently the two tasks he needed to complete before riding off into the sunset.

Still, with GM’s powertrain boss, President of Onstar and head of Brazilian operations all leaving the company this quarter, there has been lots of turnover at the upper ranks of GM’s leadership (even considering no top-level GM executive was in their current position when the firm went through bankruptcy). But unlike those other departures, Liddell has a successor ready to go, saying

I came to General Motors to be part of something great. My objective was to help rebuild this iconic company and I am particularly pleased that through this process, we have also developed a strong successor in Dan Ammann.

Amman is currently GM’s VP for finance and Treasurer. He joined GM a year ago from Morgan Stanley, where he worked in industrial investment banking. And despite the seemingly orderly transition, GM’s stock has tumbled on the news of Liddell’s departure. Apparently the market is still coming to terms with the idea of high turnover at the automaker that people used to say could only be run by an insider. My how things change…

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  • Steven02 Steven02 on Mar 10, 2011

    When Liddell came on, he wanted to be CEO. Since he didn't get CEO, it was only a matter of time before he left. I think he did a good job for his brief stint, not that I have too much to go on. Hopefully the new guy has been groomed well.

  • BklynPete BklynPete on Mar 10, 2011

    What did our $50 billion buy us? This is just a big giant mess and it's going to come crashing right back down again. Liddell saw it and he split; so did the others. Anyone with talent or a good reputation must be looking for exit signs at RenCen. This is just getting started. Now we can see the IPO for what it is: nothing but a money grab by the big boys. This is their payoff for taking one for the team back in early '09. To fill the short-term goals, they're ramping up the incentives while Akerson starts mouthing off to the media like he's some freakin' genius. I almost hate saying it, but we should have at least listened to Ralph Nader:

  • 56m65711446 Well, I had a suburban auto repair shop in those days.
  • Dukeisduke Yikes - reading the recall info from NHTSA, this sounds like the Hyundai/Kia 2.4l Theta II "engine fire" recall, since it involves an engine block or oil pan "breach", so basically, throwing a rod:"Description of the Safety Risk : Engine oil and/or fuel vapor that accumulates near a sufficiently hot surface, below the combustion initiation flame speed, may ignite resulting in an under hood fire, and increasing the risk of injury. Description of the Cause :Isolated engine manufacturing issues have resulted in 2.5L HEV/PHEV engine failures involving engine block or oil pan breach. In the event of an engine block or oil pan breach, the HEV/PHEV system continues to propel the vehicle allowing the customer to continue to drive the vehicle. As the customer continues to drive after a block breach, oil and/or fuel vapor continues to be expelled and accumulates near ignition sources, primarily expected to be the exhaust system. Identification of Any Warning that can Occur :Engine failure is expected to produce loud noises (example: metal-to-metal clank) audible to the vehicle’s occupants. An engine failure will also result in a reduction in engine torque. In Owner Letters mailed to customers, Ford will advise customers to safely park and shut off the engine as promptly as possible upon hearing unexpected engine noises, after experiencing an unexpected torque reduction, or if smoke is observed emanating from the engine compartment."
  • Dukeisduke In an ideal world, cars would be inspected in the way the MoT in the UK does it, or the TÜV in Germany. But realistically, a lot of people can't afford to keep their cars to such a high standard since they need them for work, and widespread public transit isn't a thing here.I would like the inspections to stick around (I've lived in Texas all my life, and annual inspections have always been a thing), but there's so much cheating going on (and more and more people don't bother to get their cars inspected or registration renewed), so without rigorous enforcement (which is basically a cop noticing your windshield sticker is out of date, or pulling you over for an equipment violation), there's no real point anymore.
  • Zipper69 Arriving in Florida from Europe and finding ZERO inspection procedures I envisioned roads crawling with wrecks held together with baling wire, duct tape and prayer.Such proved NOT to be the case, plenty of 20-30 year old cars and trucks around but clearly "unsafe at any speed" vehicles are few and far between.Could this be because the median age here is 95, so a lot of low mileage vehicles keep entering the market as the owners expire?
  • Zipper69 At the heart of GM’s resistance to improving the safety of its fuel systems was a cost benefit analysis done by Edward Ivey which concluded that it was not cost effective for GM to spend more than $2.20 per vehicle to prevent a fire death. When deposed about his cost benefit analysis, Mr. Ivey was asked whether he could identify a more hazardous location for the fuel tank on a GM pickup than outside the frame. Mr. Ivey responded, “Well yes…You could put in on the front bumper.”