My corporate overseers were always “staff” people. The hallmark of a present-day staff executive is to schedule and attend meetings. (Of course, there’s more to it, but this will do for the moment.) Continue reading “Unrealistic Expecations”
As of last year, he was talking directly to the customer via GM’s Fastlane blog. Lutz – who occasionally steered onto the shoulder while speaking publicly, such as his dismissal of both electric vehicles and global warming – also had a firm grasp on the wheel and a strong sense of direction.
There are two GMs – the Old GM, and the New GM. The old GM was a manufacturing behemoth who enjoyed a period of dominance in both style and sales, which eventually culminated in the misreading and mismatch of product to consumer needs, a much lamented attempt use marketing to compensate for bland product, and a vicious spiral of legacy costs, quality deficiencies – both real and perceived – and an addiction to market share over profit, punctuated by the occasional hit.
The New GM casted off the chains of the past (as Motors Corp), shed the sick, lame, and lazy divisions (initially Oldsmobile, followed by Saturn, Pontiac, Saab, and Hummer), and shed thousands of white and blue collar jobs and unviable dealerships.
GM is enjoying somewhat of a nascent recovery with competitive offerings such as the current Chevrolet Malibu, Cadillac CTS, and Buick Lacrosse as well as forthcoming product like the Chevrolet Cruze, Buick Regal, and others. The fear is that the bean-counters, bankers, and marketing guys of old – responsible for such ‘hits’ as the Cadillac 4-6-8 engine, the X-cars, badge-engineering, and of course, the Aztec – will have resumed control after the latest management putsch, most notably of car guy CEO Fritz Henderson by former-AT&T Executive Ed Whitacare. GMs greatest weakness is its culture – without strong leadership – as exemplified by Lutz – it will be far too easy for the company to fall back on old habits.
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The Crackdown on Executive Pay — Justin Fox – Excellent article, as usual, by Fox. Executive compensation is, for all the reasons Fox explains, a really tricky issue, one that I’m struggling with in my own forthcoming book. You won’t do much better than Bebchuk if you’re looking to understand it all.