Were Icheoku to be advising, it would have been better to allow Rick Wagoner implement whatever re-structuring programme that may be recommended by those knowledgeable both in the White House and Wall Street? Like Defence Minister Robert Gates, who was allowed to stay on and help tidy up affairs regarding the two on-going wars, Wagoner should have been allowed to re-organize GM instead of bringing on board a total stranger into such a complex corporation with a world-wide operations to try and figure out what is obvious? It is all about gas-consumption and gas-price, period! Anyway, the deed is done, the decision has been taken and Rick Wagoner is now, a former General Motors chief executive? Let us hope that the decision makers have their game plans right, otherwise it will be a disappointment galore to let Wagoner go without achieving the desired result?
Icheoku believes that as an insider, Rick Wagoner, would have been a better fit to lead GM through its present crisis? Whether there have been several years of missteps, mistakes and arrogance by the Detroit Three automakers, is not sufficiently a reason to throw away such a knowledgeable individual except there is a compelling reason to do so. All that Washington would have done was to compel a re-tooling and re-structuring of the auto industries instead of forcing one of their chief executive to fall on his own sword? That Wagoner relied for too long on sales of pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles for GM's profits should not be used against him; after-all that was what the market wanted until the surprised astronomical gasoline pricing that forced the two brands off the cliff? It was not only GM that was unprepared for the high gasoline price induced drastic market shift; as everyone was taken by surprise when gasoline prices hit $4 per gallon last year and it became too expensive and uneconomical to own and operate one such SUV or truck?
Mr Rick Wagoner, 56, assumed the now ex-position at General Motors in May 2003. He joined GM in 1977 and had previously served in various capacities for GM in the United States of America, Brazil and Europe. He became president and chief executive of GM in 2000 and chairman and CEO in 2003. It is also note-worthy that France's biggest car maker, Peugeot-Citroen, recently fired her chairman Christian Streiff, for reason of "extraordinary difficulties" in the automotive industry? Toyota Motor Corp.'s president, Katsuaki Watanabe, equally announced that he would be stepping down as a result of the meltdowns.
With his ouster, Rick Wagoner has become a member of former chief executives club, who were similarly forced out after the government took over their companies last year. The CEOs of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac readily comes to mind and so also is Robert Willumstad, the former CEO of American International Group Inc., (AIG) who was booted out last September 2008, a day after the government pumped $85 billion into the insurer to keep it afloat. Icheoku while wishing Rick Wagoner good luck, also hopes that the Obama administration finds the answer they are looking for in revamping the auto industry, by his firing!