Call it the "Wagoner watch."
Last week, speculation among national media about whether General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner will survive - and who might succeed him - hit a fever pitch.
We chronicle some of the conjecture.
- The Wall Street Journal, Monday, March 27: Former Detroit bureau chief Paul Ingrassia paints Wagoner as slow to confront long-standing problems - and adds, "Look for the board to oust him this summer, at the latest." Possible successors: DaimlerChrysler CEO Dieter Zetsche, Nissan-Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn, former GM Vice Chairman Harry Pearce, Textron CEO (and former GM VP) Lewis Campbell.
- The New York Times, Wednesday, March 29: Credits Wagoner with cost-cutting but characterizes him as "more like a bureaucrat trying to protect the status quo than a visionary." Possible successors: Board member Jerry York as non-executive chairman; Ghosn; Campbell; Magna President (and former GM VP) Mark Hogan as CEO.
- Business Week Online, Wednesday, March 29: Credits Wagoner with attacking labor costs, building sales in China. But says it "might be time" for a new CEO.
- The Wall Street Journal, March 29: An in-house debate? Journal columnist Holman W. Jenkins Jr. is more positive than Ingrassia, crediting Wagoner with handling "torturous negotiations" with the UAW. But Jenkins questions whether Wagoner can give GM exciting vehicles.