'It's all about leadership'
The writer is a retired executive director of finance at General Motors.
To the Editor:
Regarding "Advice for Akerson: Show a little faith in your bench" (Oct. 15, Final Assembly): Great column. Peter Brown hit the nail on the head.
While auto people love to say and think that this industry is complicated and not like other industries, people such as Ron Zarrella -- former president of North American operations at General Motors -- who have come in from the outside also have admitted that it is unlike any other industry.
Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally did come from a very complex industry, and he is an engineer. So the way he looks at things is a lot different from the way the average CEO does. It is great to see someone writing about the fact that both Mulally and Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne have had success with the troops they inherited.
Another example is the turnaround in product at General Motors under Bob Lutz's leadership. He did bring a few designers in from Chrysler, but effectively the engineering organization and design people were the same people.
It is all about leadership, inspiring people and giving them the tools to do the job.
Let's hope Akerson will realize this before it is too late. The morale at GM is not great, and a lot of talented people would probably leave if opportunities came up.