The federal government owns 26.5 percent of General Motors' shares, but executives say the feds have remained hands-off when it comes to running the business. Yet in an opinion piece last week in The Wall Street Journal, former GM CEO Ed Whitacre seemed to suggest otherwise.
Whitacre called for the government to sell all of its stake in GM as quickly as possible.
"I don't say that critically," he wrote, "but the government has been an active participant in GM's management for more than three years, and that's long enough. It's time for Treasury to step out of the way."
Asked about Whitacre's comment, GM spokesman Greg Martin said simply: "They haven't," and declined to comment on the op-ed piece.
Whitacre was named GM's chairman soon after the 2009 bankruptcy and government bailout, and took on the CEO role late that year. He resigned as CEO in September 2010 and as chairman at the end of that year.
While chairman in November 2010, Whitacre said the Obama administration had held good to a pledge to let GM run its operations despite a government stake that was then almost 61 percent.
He said at the time: "Before I went [to GM], I said, 'We want to run it ourselves.' They said, 'Fine.' They were true to that word; they never interfered one minute. They did exactly what they said. I have to give them an A-plus."