To the Editor:
Fritz Henderson, General Motors CFO, gets an "A" for his politically correct response to Kirk Kerkorian aide Jerome York's recommendations to GM by saying he agrees with a lot of what York said.
Unfortunately, GM Vice Chairman Robert Lutz receives a dismal "F-minus" for his response that GM should not cut executive salaries. I'm surprised that Lutz did not think the public would consider his remark self-serving, not to mention sending a poor message to GM's rank and file and the public. The barrage of criticism seems to be sufficient evidence of that.
Lutz's reasoning was that a cut in executive salaries might mean a talent drain at GM. Actually, GM might do well with a drain, if not a flush, of the mediocre talent that has put the company in its current mess. For example: Wouldn't GM's coffers contain substantially more funds if execs like J. Ignacio Lopez and Ron Zarrella had been "drained" much, much sooner?
However, Lutz's comment that GM should marshal all its resources receives a very high grade indeed. GM should visit the golf courses across America where thousands of GM retirees, executive and union, with skills, talents, wisdom, experience and knowledge are going to waste because they were forced out of the company prematurely in a downsizing exercise.