GM Drives Out Fritz Henderson (And I Lose An Interview)
This post by Jill Schlesinger originally appeared on CBS' MoneyWatch.com.
This was the day I was supposed to interview GM CEO Fritz Henderson for a big CBS Radio year-end special about the economy. Timing really is everything.
(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Yesterday after the close of trading, GM made a surprise announcement: after eight months at the helm of the beleaguered automaker, Fritz Henderson was stepping down. Today we know that Mr. Henderson did not exactly resign - he was axed. The party line is that the 25-year veteran of the company was too closely tied to old GM and wasn't moving quickly enough to satisfy the antsy Board.
I had a few questions about that lined up for today, but alas, twas not meant to be! For the time being, GM's Chairman of the Board Edward "I don't anything about cars" Whitacre will fill in for Fritz. Maybe I'll land an interview with Whitacre or some other GM exec, but in the mean time, here are some of the questions that I had prepared for the interview, with a big nod to Jim Motavalli, our resident auto expert:
• When do you expect that the company will return to profitability?
• When will GM emerge from government ownership?
• How much interaction do you have with the government on a day-to-day basis?
• What was the worst/best part of the bankruptcy process?
• What will GM do with Saab now that Koenigsegg has abandoned its purchase bid?
• Is there an alternative to shutting down the #2 car maker in Sweden?
• What will the price be on the Chevrolet Volt?
• What will be the fate of the company's plug-in hybrid (now homeless after the demise of Saturn)?
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Jill Schlesinger is the Editor-at-Large for CBS MoneyWatch.com. Prior to the launch of MoneyWatch, she was the Chief Investment Officer for an independent investment advisory firm. In her infancy, she was an options trader on the Commodities Exchange of New York.
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