If you believe what GM Director George M.C. Fisher says, Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner’s job is safe and secure. "We are absolutely convinced we have the right team under Rick Wagoner’s leadership to get us through these difficult times and on to a bright future," said Fisher. Uh, sure.
Fisher’s either blowing smoke or inhaling a special kind of smoke if he expects shareholders and GM watchers to believe that hyperbole. Wagoner and his team are responsible for GM’s dire straits. They totally blew the hybrid car opportunity (think: Toyota Prius), were slow as molasses in curtailing the outrageous costs of lifetime health benefits for employees and retirees and, most recently, were asleep at the wheel as fuel costs skyrocketed and the company kept pushing gas-guzzling SUVs and trucks. On top of everything else, GM’s stock has dropped from $40 per share in October to $10 today. Talk about reckless driving.
I wish I had a dollar for every time a board director, team president or general manager has expressed confidence in a failing executive or manager only to turn around and later fire the sad sack.
Like Willie Randolph was to the Mets, Rick Wagoner is a distraction to GM. He’s become a lightning rod for anger, frustration, ranting and raving. If the ailing auto company has any hopes of pulling out of its death spiral, it needs to be focused.
Fisher and his cohorts will wake up at some point and relieve Wagoner of his duties. And, Rick will drive into the sunset with hundreds of millions of dollars in a severance package and a smoldering wreck of a company disappearing in his rearview mirror.