DETROIT - Fritz Henderson has resigned as chief executive officer of General Motors and government-appointed chairman Ed Whitacre has taken over temporarily.
“This does not come entirely as a shock,” commented Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Michelle Krebs. “Ed Whitacre was the government’s choice to lead the company and the Automotive Task Force always appeared lukewarm about the idea of Fritz staying in the top job. “In recent months, the board and Henderson appeared as if they were not on the same page,” added Krebs. “Henderson wanted to sell Opel; the board overruled, keeping the European company. The eleventh hour failure of GM’s sale of Saturn and Saab likely suggested to the board that Henderson couldn’t get the job done.”
Henderson became CEO when Rick Wagoner was forced to resign March 29 as part of the government’s bailout of GM.
“Ed Whitacre has a track record of transforming companies, namely turning regional Southwestern Bell into AT&T, the largest telecommunications company in the U.S.” says Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Jessica Caldwell. “His challenge will be to keep GM number one in U.S. sales, pay back the American and Canadian taxpayers and take the company public quickly.”
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