Thursday, June 11, 2009

New GM CEO: Does Car Experience Matter?

It seems the new head of GM (Government Motors) is making a bit of a splash. Edward Whitacre Jr., the new head honcho is taking heat because he has no (nada, zero) experience in the auto industry. Now that the tax payers own a majority of the auto maker, some seem a bit concerned Whitacre might not be the man to turn the troubled company around.
I think that's a bunch of BS. The new leader SHOULD NOT have any auto experience. GM needs someone with some fresh ideas and new energy, not someone stuck in the past. (By the way, this isn't Whitacre's first rodeo. He led AT&T for more than 43 years.)
Think about your own business. You get so caught up in what used to work, who used to do what, how things have always been done, etc., you get paralyzed. At the end of the day you can't see the forest through the trees and you don't even realize it.
GM needs a new focus and energy. Someone from the outside that can bring a fresh perspective. The ONLY way to get that is to look outside the industry. It's time for a change in the way auto makers do business. That change can only come from outside the industry.
--Ron Ameln, SBM

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