Rick Wagoner, the former CEO of General Motors, is on the outs. This should come to little surprise, given his general ineptitude and the general failure of GM to do much of anything successful. The company’s market share has been dwindling for years, and there was little indication, given Wagoner’s track record from his previous nine years as CEO, that he would be able to change this.
This comes as a shock for two reasons. One being that someone high up in the hierarchy of a multinational corporation is facing such an inglorious end as a result of failure (the indignity!) and the other being that he was fired by President Obama.
Sure, Obama won’t be handing Wagoner the pink slip, he’s far too busy preparing for his appearance on “Ellen” or something. But his administration has effectively pressured and apparently blatantly requested Wagoner’s departure.
Tomorrow, Obama will be announcing his plans for the auto industry, which hopefully won’t include a series of bailouts similar to the banking industry. Then on Tuesday, GM and Chrysler are scheduled to prove to the government that they can be eventually profitable, and if not, the $13.4 and $4 billion already respectively loaned to them will be retracted.
Right now, big government fanboys and Ayn Rand acolytes should be chomping at their bits. Dreams of government involvement in or dismissal of the auto industry will be flourishing during their sleep tonight. Whichever wins will signal a huge shift in U.S. policy, one that will shape the relationship between private industry and governmental policy for years to come.