Alas …

Yes, alas. That's pretty much my response to the sad state of GM. I cannot say I'm surprised; in fact I doubt this is the last of the bad news. I've only worked with GM a few times, years ago. My memory is "decent people, insane bureaucracy." I guess nothing changed.

As to Rick Wagoner, doubtless a very bright fellow; still, he gives credence to my long held belief that Chief Financial Officers rarely make great CEOs. The last big Detroit turnaround was crafted by Master Marketer Lee Iacocca. He was an incredible salesman—to employees, to Washington, to the consumer. (Remember, his breakout was the first Mustang while at Ford.)

In fact GM has been saddled with three of the least inspiring chiefs in recent big-corporate history: Roger Smith, Bob Stemple, and now Wagoner.

As I said, alas.

Tom Peters posted this on June 9, 2005, in Talent.
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