"I don’t know anything about cars"

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http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=aQ._YJhEj_Jo
 Quote:
June 10 (Bloomberg) -- Edward E. Whitacre Jr. built AT&T Inc. into the biggest U.S. provider of telephone service over a 43-year-career. By his own admission, he becomes chairman of General Motors Corp. knowing nothing about the auto industry. The 6-foot-4-inch Texan nicknamed “Big Ed” said steering the nation’s largest automaker after bankruptcy is “a public service.” People who know him say he can meet GM’s need for the type of transformation he orchestrated at Dallas-based AT&T. “I don’t know anything about cars,” Whitacre, 67, said yesterday in an interview after his appointment. “A business is a business, and I think I can learn about cars. I’m not that old, and I think the business principles are the same.”
 
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Look at Mulally over at Ford. He came in knowing more about airplanes than cars, too. The feds must be hoping lightning strikes twice. I wish him success. If he fails we all take a bath.
 

crw

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There are plenty of executives to go around. As long as one of them cares about cars... In my opinion, they need some people kind of like Steve Jobs. Someone who comes out with fantastic products. Products that make you say, "Wow, I never thought you could do that!" I know some will counter with "Yeah, sure, look at the price of Apple products." This isn't a PC vs. Apple discussion. But then again, consider that Apple can get a PREMIUM for their products. I'd think that you'd want to build cars that don't need rebate checks to move them off the lot. As for business sense, anyone who has looked at the situation honestly knows that for the past five years we knew this day was coming. Why can't people admit that? You can't have four retired GM workers getting paid for every one that is still working. THAT WILL NEVER WORK! Never, ever, it won't work. Don't care who your CEO is, or how long the taxpayer picks up the slack. It won't work.
 
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Whitacre has a stellar track record at SBC/AT&T. Perhaps GM needs someone who is business savvy. Lutz can be the "car guy." Plus, the Obama folks must be REALLY convinced Whitacre is the right man, since he was a MEGA Bush supporter.
 
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 Originally Posted By: BrianWC
... Plus, the Obama folks must be REALLY convinced Whitacre is the right man, since he was a MEGA Bush supporter.
I see the "THREAD LOCKER" coming!
 
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 Originally Posted By: StevieC
 Originally Posted By: BrianWC
... Plus, the Obama folks must be REALLY convinced Whitacre is the right man, since he was a MEGA Bush supporter.
I see the "THREAD LOCKER" coming!
No, all I am saying is evidently his appeal must be so great that it transcends the fact that he raised over $200,000 for W.
 

Tempest

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 Originally Posted By: BrianWC
No, all I am saying is evidently his appeal must be so great that it transcends the fact that he raised over $200,000 for W.
Or maybe he is just willing to do business with whomever the winning team is.
 
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 Originally Posted By: BrianWC
Whitacre has a stellar track record at SBC/AT&T. Perhaps GM needs someone who is business savvy. Lutz can be the "car guy." Plus, the Obama folks must be REALLY convinced Whitacre is the right man, since he was a MEGA Bush supporter.
Lutz leaves at the end of year. Rattner, the car guys for Obama was a reporter turned investment banker. Has no degree.
 
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 Originally Posted By: tom slick
At that level, business is what he needs to know about. Was he a "phone guy" before he ran AT&T?
I agree. when you get to 'that level' you need to know how to run a business effectively, no matter what it is producing/selling. Cars, phones...etc..just become 'units' at that point. If a 'unit' isn't seeling, you either need to make it sell, or stop making it.
 

Tempest

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 Quote:
just become 'units' at that point.
That mentality is the problem. You do indeed need someone at the top that understands the business. Different labor, markets, materials, marketing methods, etc. These are all different from industry to industry. Also, big difference between service industry and manufacturing. GM will be subject to gov. imposed salary caps. They had to get someone willing to deal that was already well off.
 

Tempest

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He's a figure head. The car czar and his boss are the ones really in charge. If you think they can run a car company, then maybe.
 
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 Originally Posted By: addyguy
 Originally Posted By: tom slick
At that level, business is what he needs to know about. Was he a "phone guy" before he ran AT&T?
I agree. when you get to 'that level' you need to know how to run a business effectively, no matter what it is producing/selling. Cars, phones...etc..just become 'units' at that point. If a 'unit' isn't seeling, you either need to make it sell, or stop making it.
Well, now we know what happened to the pink "Princess" phone....
 
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