Whitacre Running GM

Peter : On Rad's Radar?
Peter
| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

Whitacre Running GM

Former SBC chief Ed Whitacre is going to be the next Chairman of GM. Huh? According to Bloomberg, Whitacre is doing his patriotic duty and loves the challenge. Rich Tehrani thinks that Whitacre was a strategist. He dismantled the regulatory landscape, fought off (and then ate) is competitors, and turned a local Bell back into Ma Bell after numerous acquisitions that have never been integrated. (AT&T still acts like 7 different companies to anyone that has to work with them).

So how successful will an insider monopolist from SBC be at a dying auto maker? Well, less debt to deal with. Inside political track, which is the only way he plays the game. He didn't really understand the Internet and probably doesn't understand the auto industry either. 

His "partners" at SBC (authorized sales agents) are much like dealerships, who should expect the worse, since every company SBC bought tightened the screws to the agents. 

Rich writes, "For too many years GM had lousy management and created cars that for lack of a better word sucked. Americans ran away from Detroit automobiles like AT&T ran away from VoIP in the nineties." Rich, SBC (now called the new AT&T) isn't exactly known for being innovative either. No VoIP. Compete on price. Long installation intervals. Bad billing. What exactly is Whitacre going to bring to the new GM? From what I can see having dealt with all the Bell companies over the last 10 years, he was a lousy cheif exec except that he could put deals together. So what? GM is selling parts and Whitacre knew as much about internal organization and integration as Level3 execs. 

This is also the guy whose company allegedly helped the NSA wiretap the nation. I guess this is his thanks, since Crazy Ivan at VZ is still busy.

Who is my choice? How Elon Musk? How about someone from P&G or Unilever? 

Success is measured a number of different ways, but make a big, hulking, inflexible, non-innovative tech company isn't what I would consider a success. GM needs fast, flexible thinking; innovation; reach out to dealers and workers; and a huge re-branding campaign (which might be the only thing Whitacre is capable of: re-branding GM as the new GM with the same crap as before).

SUMMARY:

GM needs a creative thinker that is flexible and industry knowledgeable. Someone who can bring new partners and ideas to execution quickly, because mergers and acquisitions are not going to be the solution for GM.

GM has two prime missions: convincing people to buy its cars; making cars people want to buy despite the state of GM.

Unfortunately, the government once again shows that change has not come to Washington as they pick a crony instead of the right person - something we have seen too much of during these times of re-invention and government intervention.

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