Book: Akerson was appalled by GM management
Whitacre: Fritz Henderson was a disappointment.
Photo credit: JOE WILSSENS
When Dan Akerson joined the General Motors board in 2009, his first impression was that GM was one of the most poorly managed companies, writes his predecessor as GM CEO, Ed Whitacre, in a new book.
Whitacre, 70, who was chairman of AT&T before becoming GM chairman in the summer of 2009, disclosed details about GM's operations during his nine months as CEO of the company in the memoir American Turnaround: Reinventing AT&T and GM and the Way We Do Business in the USA.
A manuscript of the book was obtained by The Detroit News, which has published details. The book is scheduled to be published Feb. 5, the News said.
According to Whitacre, during one board meeting, Akerson "said he thought GM was one of the worst companies he'd come across in his entire life. And he was not a fan of GM cars -- he made that crystal clear."
Whitacre took over as chairman in July 2009 when GM left bankruptcy under a government bailout. He became CEO in December 2009 after GM's board removed Fritz Henderson.
At Whitacre's first meeting as GM chairman, the board gave Henderson, who had been handed the reins in late March, 90 days to prove himself, according to the book.
Whitacre says in the book he was disappointed with Henderson's tenure at the top. He writes, "After five months on the job, not much had happened. A tweak here, a tweak there -- that was pretty much it."