From The Detroit News:
General Motors Corp. Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner will step down after heading the largest U.S. automaker for more than eight years, a person familiar with the situation said.
GM declined to comment and it was not immediately clear who would succeed Wagoner or if Wagoner’s departure was a condition set by the government for further assistance to the struggling automaker.
According to the AP, Wagoner’s resignation is effective immediately.
According to The Politico, Wagoner is stepping because Obama demanded it:
The Obama administration asked Rick Wagoner, the chairman and CEO of General Motors, to step down and he agreed, a White House official said.
The White House confirmed Wagoner was leaving at the government’s behest after The Associated Press reported his immediate departure, without giving a reason.
On Monday, President Obama is to unveil his plans for the auto industry, including a response to a request for additional funds by GM and Chrysler.
Industry sources had said the White House planned very tough medicine, which turned out to be an understatement. And it went to the very top. The measures to be imposed by the government will have a dramatic effect on workers, unions, suppliers, retirees and the communities where plants are located, the sources said.
This is a disaster waiting to happen. General Motors would be better off declaring bankruptcy than accepting any plan by this inept, incompetent White House. For Pete’s sake, this administration can’t even distribute the tickets to the White House Easter Egg Roll competently.
Update: Obama said this about GM on today’s Face the Nation:
“Everybody’s having problems, even Toyota and other very profitable companies,” Obama said on CBS’s news show “Face the Nation.”
“We think we can have a successful U.S. auto industry,” he said. “But it’s got to be one that’s realistically designed to weather this storm and to emerge at the other end much more lean and mean and competitive than it currently is.
“And that’s going to mean a set of sacrifices from all parties — management, labor, shareholders, creditors, suppliers, dealers,” Obama said.
“Everybody’s going to have to come to the table and say, ‘It’s important for us to take serious restructuring steps now in order to preserve a brighter future down the road.'”
Yes, that’s called Chapter 11.
Exit question: Ever get the feeling that Obama’s not quite the centrist pragmatist Christopher Buckley thought he’d be?