December 1, 2009, - 4:35 pm

BREAKING: Government Motors CEO Fritz Henderson Resigns (Day b/f LA Auto Show)

By Debbie Schlussel

Well, he didn’t last long.  Within minutes from the time I write this, General Motors CEO Fritz Henderson will announce his resignation.  He barely lasted nine months.  So much for getting the unions to force the other guy, Rick Waggoner, out.

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And so much for the government takeover.  GM recently announced disastrous sales numbers.  And Henderson didn’t help stem the tide of the bad times.

So, what do you make of this . . . other than that a government takeover and pandering to unions doesn’t work?  Is it a case of hatcheting the hatchet man?  The guy is supposed to be the keynote speaker at the L.A. Auto Show–a huge show of great importance–tomorrow morning.  I guess that’s out.  I question the timing, given that.

I hope GM ultimately succeeds, but I don’t think that’ll happen, except in a much smaller version.  Read what I wrote over a year ago on the occasion of GM’s 100th birthday:  Will GM (or Ford or Chrysler) Have Another 100 Years?

The new interim CEO:  Ed Whittaker.

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13 Responses

The Eastern European Socialist Governments nationalized the most inefficient enterprises, and they stayed around only because people were forced to buy their junk. The same thing is happening, adjusted for proportion with GM. I can’t imagine anybody buying a GM car unless their sympathy for this company outweighs prudent judgment. It’s just a matter of time before they liquidate.

Little Al on December 1, 2009 at 4:59 pm

Making such a profound judgement after only 9 months is a very short term point of view. Blaming the government at this point is also very short term thinking. GM didn’t get itself into this mess quickly and it will take a LOT longer than 9 months to get GM out of this mess. The government didn’t do anything to put it in this position, but is working to help keep it afloat. Everyone will have to make cuts (unions and management alike). If unions or management are not willing to accept cuts in pay/benefits/hours/jobs/etc. then they are only standing in the way of progress and GM will die a slow, lingering death.

Catherine Ford on December 1, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    “The government didn’t do anything to put [GM] in this position, but is working to help keep it afloat.”

    You can’t be serious. The government has done numerous things to bring on the failure of GM and harm all of the automotive industry in America. To name a few, endless mandates for fuel economy standards including but not limited to ever more punitive CAFE requirements, air bag mandates, emission restrictions, vehicle labeling mandates, new taxes and fees, and arcane vehicle classification standards that force manufacturers to build cars that consumers don’t want. As if this wasn’t enough, the government forced GM through a bankruptcy that defied all legal precedent in order to ensure that the union, its pension funds and the union leadership were spared the losses shouldered by stock and debt holders. And finally, to be accurate, the government is not “working to help” keep GM afloat. And finally any aid, assistance and the bailout GM received comes from American taxpayers and consumers–not the government.

    KingSlav on December 1, 2009 at 9:48 pm

      You are dealing with someone who is simply spouting off UAW talking points. The truth is that G.M. was killed by its union, federal government, as well as its management. Government sussidies might keep General Motors going for awhile, but as an independent and viable entity, it is already dead.

      Worry01 on December 1, 2009 at 10:52 pm

As long as as the union exists, it will be a never-ending fight between “workers” and “management”. It is in the interests of the union bosses to keep this fight going because the minute a permanent peace is declared, the union boss’ jobs (and perks) will be unnecessary. …..and where will they go? To the assembly line???? nah…..

Not Ovenready on December 1, 2009 at 5:20 pm

Chrysler belongs to Fiat (ooh, lucky!) and GM is under the control of Obama. Chrysler’s been passed around like a roofied-up sorority girl at a frat party. Ford has come out of this pretty cleanly.

Richard on December 1, 2009 at 7:48 pm

So what you’re saying is, my brand new CAMARO is going to be an Edsel in the very near future?

Well, I’ll walk or crawl before I buy an Ecokooky Prius or a Smart Clown car-coffin-crossover.

Ralph on December 1, 2009 at 11:30 pm

Consumers all over the world want the same things: Good quality at a price they can afford. Somehow GM, Ford and Chrysler have been unable to provide these things as well as than Toyota, Honda, etc.

Charles Kirtley on December 1, 2009 at 11:35 pm

Fritz Henderson was the only pre-Obama car guy on the bail-out panel. He’s been with GM since 1984 worked in many different capacities throughout the company a Harvard grad and was selected to replace Rick Waggoner long before this bail-out crisis.
It worries me that he’s probably being forced out at this critical juncture in the companies misfortune. GM would’ve filed bankruptcy 2 years ago reorganised there structure by deleted the unions altogether. No, they had to accept the apple from a corrupt government thinking they would be taken care as AIG and Bank of America. Only now GM is beginning to realize they signed they’re death warrant.
GM was showing alot of promise with its updated product line especially with Saturn Skys and Pontiac G8s, now these divisions no longer exist because none car people are the puppeteers and OL’ Fritz is the latest canon-fodder.
My primary question is when is Obama going to be held accountable for his failures. His stimulus package is a disaster with 10 percent unemployment, GM wont survive his administrations meddling where they’re just sucking the profit out of the company for next years campaign finances, and he’s waited 4 months to even pay attention to the military cowering in Afghanistan wanting for reinforcements.
Yet he trundles along without anyone questioning his authority. This is Bill Clinton all over again and I’m not sure this country full of selfish morons deserve to survive if they keep voting con artist into office. No matter what Bush put this country through if you replace him with a democrat prepare to face total disaster.

seahawker on December 1, 2009 at 11:35 pm

Even the Russian automobile industry is overtaking America! :)

Shy Guy on December 2, 2009 at 4:25 am

I hope Ford can do well. I really like their products right now.

Ken Blazek on December 2, 2009 at 8:25 am

Unionists and Marxists sre not builders of products or creators of wealth. They collect paychecks and viggorish money. They try to find a golden goose as in GM and squeeze it empty of its eggs. Then they move on to the next prey. Miners like entrepaneurs and wealth creators don’t naturally operate in a defensive mode to protect themselves from claim-jumpers and thieves, but it now appears we will all have to guard against the local communists in our communities looking to take their “share”. All part of the plan to pit haves against have nots in a perpetual conflict orchestrated by statists in central government.

JLin on December 2, 2009 at 9:39 am

My dear ole dumb daddy, rest in peace, was a loyal UAW lemming until the day he went to that big Solidarity House in the sky. He retired before the collapse but he & his unions bros’ & sistas’ were the cause of implosion of the Big Three. Sad to have to admit to that.

FIRECAPT on January 23, 2014 at 11:44 am

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