Loose Lips Sink Ships: Akerson Stops Leaks, Starts New Ones

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
loose lips sink ships akerson stops leaks starts new ones

There goes the prestige

Rarely do Dan Akerson, the CEO of GM, and TTAC see eye to eye. This time, they do. Two weeks ago, we complained that GM is leaking like a scuttled steamer. Yesterday, Dan Akerson took the whole company to task: “We have to stop leaking in this company. It’s an act of treason — it really is,” Akerson said in an internal video conference with GM employees. The conference tape was promptly leaked to the Detroit News, and it contained more leaks.

After GM’s Chief Marketing Office Joel Ewanick was ousted under murky circumstances, the company officially threw dirt after him (“Failed to meet the expectations that the company has for its employees.”) Soon thereafter, Ewanick found himself under a barrage of leaks, each more childish than the other. Akerson wants the leaking to stop. And while the former Navy officer is shoring up the ship, he leaks some more.

The Detroit News was “given access to a recording of the call” and says that Akerson complained about

“a recent Bloomberg News report on the dismissal of marketing executive Joel Ewanick — over internal frictions and failure to disclose the full cost of a $559 million soccer deal — “was almost verbatim what happened. That is unfair to anybody whether you think he’s right, wrong or in-between.”

Well, thank you for leaking that Bloomberg had it right. Now they don’t have to rely on “people familiar with the matter,” they have their confirmation right from the boss.

Akerson said employees would have to sign a document called “Winning With Integrity.”

A GM spokeswoman promptly told the Detroit News “that the document is not new, and that employees have had had to sign a compliance form for at least 10 years.”

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  • Terry Terry on Aug 10, 2012

    Carbiz...where was GM's loyalty when they were selling Toyotas, Suzukis, and Isuzus under the GEO banner in their Chevy stores? I'll tell you where their loyalty lies--WITH THE MONEY. They will sell ANYTHING to make money, and why wouldnt they? Most of the general public these days feels no loyalty to GM, 2 generations of consumers have grown up on imports. Many of which were made in the USA. Outside of trucks, Camaros and Corvettes, most people under 50 years of age think of GM in the same way commedian David Brenner spoke of Denny's restaurants: "Nobody goes to Denny's, they END UP at Denny's"

    • CJinSD CJinSD on Aug 11, 2012

      Excellent point about the Geos. Mind you most of the cars involved were previously sold as Chevrolets, like the Nova, Spectrum, and Sprint. It is hard to imagine anyone owning a Nova, Prizm, or Vibe and then settling for a car designed by GM instead of Toyota to replace it.

  • Jimmyy Jimmyy on Aug 11, 2012

    What a shame. When GM went bankrupt, they had the chance to restructure into a lean company. All that was required was a normal bankruptcy process. This would have been very bad for the UAW, but very good for the Metro Detroit area. But, the US government got involved and did a prepackaged bankruptcy to protect all the politically correct waste at the automaker. All done with your taxpayer dollars.

  • Namesakeone If you want a Thunderbird like your neighbor's 1990s model, this is not the car. This is a Fox-body car, which was produced as a Thunderbird from MY 1980 through 1988 (with styling revisions). The 1989-1997 car, like your neighbor's, was based on the much heavier (but with independent rear suspension) MN-15 chassis.
  • Inside Looking Out I watched only his Youtube channel. Had no idea that there is TV show too. But it is 8 years or more that I cut the cable and do not watch TV except of local Fox News. There is too much politics and brainwashing including ads on TV. But I am subscribed to CNBC Youtube channel.
  • Jeff S Just to think we are now down to basically 3 minivans the Chrysler Pacifica, Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna. I wonder how much longer those will last. Today's minivan has grown in size over the original minivans and isn't so mini anymore considering it is bigger than a lot of short wheel based full size vans from the 70s and 80s. Back in the 70s and 80s everything smaller was mini--mini skirt, mini fridge, mini car, and mini truck. Mini cars were actually subcompact cars and mini trucks were compact trucks. Funny how some words are so prevalent in a specific era and how they go away and are unheard of in the following decades.
  • Jeff S Isn't this the same van Mercury used for the Villager? I believe it was the 1s and 2nd generations of this Quest.
  • VoGhost I don't understand the author's point. Two of the top five selling vehicles globally are Teslas. We have great data on the Model 3 for the past 5 years. What specifically is mysterious about used car values?