Sunday, April 09, 2006

Support from GM's Troops


Friday's The Wall Street Journal (April 7,2006) contained "An Open Letter to America From GM Dealers." The full page advertisement described its support for embattled GM CEO Rick Wagoner:

"Mistakes have been made and lessons have been learned. Today our CEO Rick Wagoner is leading the best management team since Alfred Sloan. It is a difficult job that requires balancing the needs of customers, employees, retirees, shareholders and dealership employees. Given the hand that exists, it appears that Rick Wagoner and GM are taking very bold steps and they are making a difference. We believe that Rich is a man of excellent integrity. His values are that of the best of America. He is an excellent leader, father, husband and human being. He needs and deserves support for the enormous job he is doing." The ad is signed by individual GM National Dealer Council and GM Dealer Advisory members.

Thought the advertisement was good and I welcomed hearing what they had to say. Due to the many rumors about Wagoner serving out his last days, I think that sticking with Wagoner during these tough times is the right direction. If you have not read Fortune's Alex Taylor on the subject, you should (He writes: "Why, after the UAW has been feasting on the largesse of GM chairmen for four decades, does Wagoner get accused of giving away the store?")

Back to the advertisement. I was struck by the references to Wagoner as spouse and parent in such a business-laden declaration. Those kinds of personal statements usually end up in obituaries or retirement speeches. I presume that the dealers were attempting to round out the full shadow of the man that goes beyond his nightmarish day job. Being that GM has those true middle American roots, the values being espoused seem to fit but definitely took me aback. We rarely get a glimpse of CEOs beyond the corner office unless they are being sued for divorce.

I do know one thing. If GM's CEO were a woman, an advertisement like this would never mention how good a job she did as a wife and mother.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear LGS--I was taken aback rather by the "human being" mention, which of course is perfectly fine and good news. Imagine if he were a Martian? :o)

3:11 AM  

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