To the Editor:
A corporate automotive talent search should be quite different from the shuffling of NBA or NFL mercenaries.
I refer to "New Caddy boss knows luxury" (July 14) about General Motors' hiring Johan de Nysschen, who has led Audi of America and Infiniti.
Apparently, all employees on the Cadillac/GM career path do not know luxury or have been determined (by someone) to be unqualified or incapable of running GM's luxury division.
The hiring of an outsider certainly must demotivate all aspiring long-service GM employees hoping to advance within Cadillac's ranks. To them, the message reads that Cadillac is not striving to be better than Audi but is to be cloned as its equal -- eventually.
And if Caddy's new leader is successful in achieving Audi equality, won't the entire culture of Cadillac design, engineering, marketing, distribution, sales and especially heritage disappear, and won't it now emulate Audi behavior and influence directed from Ingolstadt rather than Detroit?
Some might say, "So what?" if Cadillac sales increase and GM's coffers overflow. However, my bet is that the people who have worked for Cadillac over the years will not be pleased that its GM in-house leadership has been abandoned and it is now being taken over by an outsider.
Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
The writer is a retired GM executive.