GM CEO Ousted; CEO Approval Ratings Were Up
Last night General Motor’s CEO Rick Wagoner was ousted from office in a move that was prompted by the government. As the Wall Street Journal reports “The Obama administration used the threat of withholding more bailout money to force out General Motors Corp. Chief Executive Rick Wagoner and administer harsh medicine to Chrysler LLC, marking one of the most dramatic government interventions in private industry since the economic crisis began last year.”
When we last reported in December on the CEOs for the three major US auto manufacturers, we analyzed employee sentiment around the pending government bailout and found that many employees had pride for their jobs and work but were frustrated – and even embarrassed – with the current situation, the number of management layers and poor decision-making processes.
It’s interesting that throughout the past three months, all CEO approval ratings have increased at least 2 percentage points and most of the companies’ ratings remained stable except for a very slight drop at Ford and GM.
|Glassdoor Report: Top 3 US Automakers Comparison (data based on employee sentiment)|
(Max: 5 Pts.)
(Max: 5 Pts.)
|CEO||CEO Approval Rating
|CEO Disapproval Rating
|Ford||3.0||3.1||Alan R. Mulally||65%||63%||14%||14%|
Focusing back on GM’s Rick Wagoner, our question becomes whether or not employees sensed this impending change. According to some employees a change within management was the right thing to do.
Just a couple weeks ago, a General Motor’s Product Manager (Detroit, MI) writes in “Do some serious house cleaning within the Exec ranks before the company implodes.”
We also observed a General Motors Marketing Manager (Detroit, MI) comment that “market conditions are making it very stressful – also still a lot of old school management style – more and more is going away though…”
So what can General Motors do moving forward to improve? Employees provide the following suggestions:
“Look at the long term view of the company. In all my years with the company, everything was always looked at in the short term.” – General Motors Senior Manufacturing Engineer (Flint, MI)
“Listen to your employees who are doing the job, quit [smothering] them with meetings and paperwork.” – General Motors Maintenance General Supervisor (Location n/a)
“Quit pulling from the same schools unless you want the same results. Decentralize if you want plants to compete against one another to see who is really the best!!!” – General Motors Manufacturing Engineer (Detroit, MI)
“Give people a chance to perform. Don’t assume they need to have ‘Manager’ or ‘Director’ in their title to be capable of good-decision making.” – Anonymous (Detroit, MI)
“The geographic location of GM limits the talent it can attract. Move to an attractive location and reap the financial benefits (and cull the workforce). The very best employees can work wherever they want. Very few will want to live in the Detroit area.” – General Motors Senior Systems Analyst (Location n/a)
President Obama is expected to make a formal announcement later today about his plans for Chrysler and GM, which have already been given $17.4 billion. In a CNN report, it states that GM will get 60 days and Chrysler 30 days in which to make a final push toward proving they can run viable businesses. If Chrysler succeeds, it will receive a $6 billion loan. In GM’s case, the officials would not specify how much money the carmaker might receive.