Time for a New GM Deathwatch?

Peter De Lorenzo on GM’s CEO-in-waiting:

[Mary] Barra, if you must know, was given the chief of Product Development title by Akerson even though that’s not the job she performed. The ex-HR Queen was plucked from near obscurity by Akerson and thrust into the role and given the title because Akerson openly said to anyone who would listen, anyone could run product. Yes, he said that. Repeatedly, too. (Akerson applied the same sick logic when he appointed “Amway Bob” Ferguson – the GM lobbyist with no apparent credentials of any kind – to run Cadillac.) Well, in fact, the dirty little secret is that Barra never ran product. Her strength was her knowledge of the GM system, and when Mark Reuss and the True Believers in product development were ready to launch a finished product into the system to get built, Barra was given the task of taking that product and making sure it was executed in the most efficient way possible. But did she actually perform as the head of Product Development? It never happened. Not even close, in fact.


I don’t see why he’s so upset. The HR- and faculty lounge-types have been running the White House for five years now — anyone can run it.

More seriously, can you think of a worse kind of person to run a massive auto company?


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