Fool Search: Be GM's Next CEO!

It's time to update your resume!

Have you ever wanted to run an unprofitable relic in a challenging industry that's saddled with debt and burdened by a questionable product portfolio? Do you enjoy the thought of having your decisions second-guessed by two separate federal governments, not to mention getting to reap the scorn of millions for taking taxpayer money?

If that sounds like the perfect job, then General Motors has the position for you!

With the sudden, unexpected resignation of CEO Fritz Henderson, GM Chairman Ed Whitacre and the rest of the GM board will begin the search for a new leader. Ideally, they'd like to find their very own Alan Mulally, an industry outsider who turned around rival Ford (NYSE: F  ) after rising through the ranks at Boeing (NYSE: BA  ) . So, in this case, actual auto experience may be a detriment.

To help out the struggling American icon, we've decided to run our own search for GM's next CEO. If you're wondering what qualifies us to play headhunter, keep in mind that this isn't our first rodeo. After Gil Amelio left the CEO job at Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) but before Steve Jobs stepped in to fill the void, it was the Fool who stepped up with a community contest on how to save the struggling company.

When there was a vacancy at Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO  ) , thanks to Jerry "Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) will never get this" Yang's departure, we asked readers if they had what it takes to be Yahoo!'s next CEO. And maybe if Planet Hollywood had paid attention to our Save the Planet Contest (or at least not overexpanded in its quixotic quest to dominate the "mediocre food and tacky merchandise" sector), it would have staved off bankruptcy.

This contest is no joke. In the comments box below, tell us why you are the most qualified person to run General Motors and how you would turn its prospects around in 250 words or less. A complete list of contest rules can be found here.

We can't promise the winner an actual job at GM, but we can give the winner a year's subscription to Motley Fool Pro (a $1,999 retail value), which gives you access to Jeff Fischer and his incomparable team as they combine stocks, options, and ETFs to build a portfolio that can profit in any market.

But be warned: if you actually do get GM's top job, company mascot Bob Lutz may sleep at the foot of your bed like the family pet.

Apply today!

Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. Microsoft is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call on Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

David Williamson owns no shares of the companies mentioned, and his turnaround strategy for GM starts with "fire anyone responsible for the Pontiac Aztek." Seriously. The Aztek has a rear end that only the Fool's disclosure policy could love.


Read/Post Comments (92) | Recommend This Article (39)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2009, at 12:29 PM, TMFGreenwave wrote:

    As the author of this article and a TMF employee I'm not eligible to win the contest, but I wanted to reiterate my turnaround strategy for GM starts with "fire anyone responsible for the Pontiac Aztek."

    To read how design by committee led to the travesty that was the Aztek, check out this blog:

    http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000321.html

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2009, at 12:38 PM, outoffocus wrote:

    I actually KNOW how to read a balance sheet so I dont qualify.

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2009, at 1:03 PM, brickcityman wrote:

    Wouldn't it be funny if they literally stole a page from Ford and went with either Scott Carson, Jim Albaugh, or Jim McNerny?

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2009, at 1:05 PM, brickcityman wrote:

    Wouldn't it be funny if they literally stole a page from Ford and went with either Scott Carson, Jim Albaugh, or Jim McNerny?

    I vote for either of those three, with more favor placed on the last two

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2009, at 1:09 PM, lemoneater wrote:

    Is Nardelli available?

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2009, at 1:37 PM, Carbarrister wrote:

    I nominate Energy Czar Carol Browner.

    She sets the emissions and CAFE standards. She should set and example by running the company and showing a profit while meeting them.

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2009, at 1:46 PM, boeroboy wrote:

    Will work for just a half - no a third of a $million! Anybody can rub elbows with the suits at lunch and on the golf course, but who will do it for that cheap?

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2009, at 1:47 PM, boeroboy wrote:

    I'll work for just a half - no a third of a $million! Anybody can rub elbows with the suits at lunch and on the golf course, but who will do it for that cheap?

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2009, at 1:56 PM, BMFPitt wrote:

    I'm here for the obiligatory "I could lose billions per month for half that salary!"

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2009, at 2:04 PM, welshy411 wrote:

    I believe I would make a good CEO for the following reasons:

    Passionate about automobiles. You have to have a passion in and believe in the product as a leader. Your enthuasim will spread to those below you.

    I believe in people and would set up a task force of employees from all levels to provide input at all stages.

    I would encourage employees to be involved, express concerns, and stop a line if they see something is wrong.

    I would challenge dealers to step up service and not only meet the competition but set the standard in warranty & customer service.

    I would set product pricing to be lowest in the segment while delivering top value.

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2009, at 2:08 PM, CairnDad wrote:

    I can turn GM around.

    Something like the recently discontinued NUMMI joint venture is the way to go.

    Expand the joint venture with Toyota. Use Toyota manufacturing techniques for all GM cars to bring the quality up. Toyota gets OnStar on all vehicles and a larger distribution network in return.

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2009, at 2:14 PM, RagnarRedbeard wrote:

    I can make GM a giant again.

    I will build cars that people want to buy. No more Asstecs! No minivans! More Camaros!

    I will work for free (plus a generous compensation package).

    I promise not to get caught with my secretary under my desk (a good CEO knows how to get away with such things).

    I promise that GM will be profitable within 1 year or I will resign (with a generous compensation package).

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2009, at 2:20 PM, johnis9 wrote:

    really insightful information about the GM ceo and

    www.bit.ly/lookat9

    GM in general.

    http://fastlane.gmblogs.com/

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2009, at 2:30 PM, WildSport57 wrote:

    For starters, GM should be run like a profitable company, not a government style bureaucracy. Efficiency, accountability, passion... all things lost in the current company structure.

    I would bring the product line current, attractive to the technology generation. Ford has reached out to Microsoft with success, but GM could reach greater success with Google or Apple.

    Lastly, focus resources on cutting edge electric car technology. Just like every other product developed for the sustainability movement, they must be truly better than their non-sustainable counterparts, not a compromise. This means space isn't limited by old (technology) batteries. Handling isn't sloppy due to weight, but rather improved due to more control over CG. Performance is actually improved due to instant torque and not engineered to be "just enough."

    There can't be compromises in successful products.

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2009, at 2:31 PM, WildSport57 wrote:

    For starters, GM should be run like a profitable company, not a government style bureaucracy. Efficiency, accountability, passion... all things lost in the current company structure.

    I would bring the product line current, attractive to the technology generation. Ford has reached out to Microsoft with success, but GM could reach greater success with Google or Apple.

    Lastly, focus resources on cutting edge electric car technology. Just like every other product developed for the sustainability movement, they must be truly better than their non-sustainable counterparts, not a compromise. This means space isn't limited by old (technology) batteries. Handling isn't sloppy due to weight, but rather improved due to more control over CG. Performance is actually improved due to instant torque and not engineered to be "just enough."

    There can't be compromises in successful products.

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2009, at 2:45 PM, SVTim wrote:

    I would be a great Leader and CEO for GM because I promise change.

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2009, at 2:59 PM, catoismymotor wrote:

    I am qualified to run GM because I can tell a hawk from a handsaw no matter which way the wind blows.

    My Grand Plan:

    All new cars sold after the 2015 model year will be engineered to hold up to a new warranty plan: 15 years/300,000 miles. I would aim to have the cost of the vehicles not exceed 20% over today’s prices. If this means assembling entire vehicles in the United States from parts imported from India, Brazil or China then so be it.

    Design by committee will be abandoned. If an attractive form can’t take shape around the function of the vehicle then it will not be allowed to move forward.

    I would also start in 2015 a plan to move GM’s base of operations to the southeast region of the United States due to lower costs of operations. The Charlotte, Atlanta and Birmingham areas would be ideal.

    I would re-work the company pay structure:

    Non Management: Base Pay ($30,000) + Stock Options

    Management: Base Pay ($50,000) + Stock Options + Performance Bonus

    Board of Directors: Base Pay ($150,000) + Stock Options and no Performance Bonus. The base pay and stock options for any member of the board will not exceed five times that of the average non-management employee, including the CEO/COO.

    And I would find some way to eliminate the unions from the company.

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2009, at 3:17 PM, RTFM2009 wrote:

    Correct me if I am wrong. How can an ex-AT&T CEO run a car company?

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2009, at 3:38 PM, plange01 wrote:

    GM the bankrupt disgrace of a automaker living off taxpayer welfare checks will close for good in the coming year.there is no place left in america for this disgrace

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2009, at 3:56 PM, MAURIZIO400 wrote:

    m not American, that is a good start i believe, specially coz being Atalian I KNOW SOMEBODY that knos SOMEBODY that knows somebody else and dho i don't even like cars so much, i prefer bikes (italians PLEASE), m sure I can get THE FAMILY to help out...if youse catch my drift

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2009, at 3:56 PM, MAURIZIO400 wrote:

    m not American, that is a good start i believe, specially coz being Atalian I KNOW SOMEBODY that knos SOMEBODY that knows somebody else and dho i don't even like cars so much, i prefer bikes (italians PLEASE), m sure I can get THE FAMILY to help out...if youse catch my drift

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2009, at 3:59 PM, MAURIZIO400 wrote:

    so that was my application for the job.

    does anybody still want it?

    sure we can talk it over...I could make you all offers...that you could not refuse...

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2009, at 4:02 PM, MAURIZIO400 wrote:

    so that was my application for the job.

    does anybody still want it?

    sure we can talk it over...I could make you all offers...that you could not refuse...

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2009, at 5:43 PM, OlSchool68 wrote:

    Mo's 5 Keys to Long-term Success:

    1. Move GM HQ far, far from Detroit. The culture in SE Michigan is way too insular and out of touch with the faster growing regions of the world (I know - I lived there for 20 years). Top choices should be global business centers like Los Angeles, Hong Kong or Paris where you can recruit world-class executive talent and you are not the top dog in the local car market (ignorance is bliss).

    2. Hire top design TEAMS away from Honda and/or Toyota. You cannot do it with 1 person. Give these folks the authority to do their jobs without the external influences that create Aztek-style debacles.

    3. Streamline marketing. No more than 3 brands per market (Chevy, Cadillac & ???). No need to fight amongst siblings for the same customers. Each brand should aim to be #1 in its segment.

    4. Streamline operations. Fewer brands means eliminating the weakest plants and dealers, firing low-performing suppliers and weeding out dead-weight in the ranks. The upside is you focus your best people on building the best products.

    5. Get Federal support to address the Healthcare and UAW labor cost issues. The entire US manufacturing sector is facing dire circumstances due to out of control costs. This needs to be a top consideration for Obama, and goes hand-in-hand with health care reform. The government can either step up to help GM negotiate better deals, or face losing thousands more manufacturing jobs to the rest of the world.

    Follow these five keys and you will be on the road to success within five years!

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2009, at 5:59 PM, llamoureFool wrote:

    At the end of the day, GM needs to focus on three things 1) Car design 2) Car Quality 3) Cost.

    As the new GM CEO, I would make sure that we design cars that people want to buy; I'll have to rely on marketing research and gut instinct, the cars should be cool and cutting edge. I will ask our R&D department to push the envelope on performance (acceleration, handling, and fuel efficiency, etc.).

    I recently visited a Chevrolet dealership to evaluate a new car and the interior felt plastic and cheap. That's not right. If the interior feels cheap, it diminishes the whole car and we'll lose sales. Quality Sells Cars.

    As for cost, that's a function of the vehicle's design, legacy costs, and overhead. Most of the legacy costs were addressed in the recent bankruptcy, but there is most likely a lot that could be done in reducing the overhead.

    I have an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering and a graduate degree in Business Administration. While I've run two companies that I've started, they were nowhere near the scale of GM. I think it will take an entrepreneur like me to sit in the CEO seat and reboot the company. I'm not foolish enough to think I could run the company by myself, so I would hire and surround myself with brilliant people, experts in their field, to advise me as needed.

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2009, at 6:00 PM, KKnese wrote:

    MEE MEEE PICK MEEEE! I have a BS in Business Administration, majored in finance, and a MS in Public Administration. I only earn 42K as a public servant. I can screw up GM for the bargain price of 100K, and you'd have money left over to clean up my mess! I'm soooo wise, you'd have to be a fool not to pick me! >;)

    Getting serious for a minute, GM doesn't need an overpaid whiz-kid, but a decent executive working for a salary of 1.25 million or so and no bonuses. GM tried paying for performance, but got ripped off instead.

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2009, at 6:35 PM, manishapaints wrote:

    For too many decades GM has focused on trying to control the market and limit competition instead of focusing on meeting market demands.

    This attempt to control has been most evident by a long strategy of limiting consumer choice (does anyone remember when GM shut down the electric train lines) and lobbying against consumer protection and fuel standards. All that effort should have been put towards building cars people wanted to buy.

    GM needs to accept the reality of the contemporary marketplace where consumers expect great design, variety and choice. They need a radically new business model.

    I propose GM create standardized car parts to reduce cost of production and create a portfolio of interchangeable options. Then they can focus on a new product model that allows consumers to mix and match their car parts to create custom vehicles, much as users are allowed to customize their computers.

    Instead of expecting a consumer to buy a new car every 5 years, create a service by which users may upgrade their car over the years as they need to with new technologies and amenities. This model will allow GM to constantly market to the owners of their cars.

    Let car dealers become lifestyle consultants helping consumers choose the features that are most important to them instead of simply talking them into whatever model they have on the lot.

    People trust Honda and Toyota because they actually make good products. It's time for GM to create a good product that people can trust.

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2009, at 6:37 PM, globalsailor wrote:

    The first question we have to ask ourselves is are Americans supposed to be making/driving cars? NO.

    Americans are supposed to be complaining that they don't have cars. As the next leader of America's greatest company, I pledge to ride to work every day in either a Japanese made car, the Tata Nano, or a Chinese made bicycle. I will shut down the company or merge it with another company and get rid of all union contracts that will require the company only to hire unionized labor.

    Finally, do we really need another car company? Americans are really greedy and pollute a lot. If we want to start using green energy, the best thing to do would be to start laying railroad track.

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2009, at 6:37 PM, globalsailor wrote:

    By the way, I'll work for $45,000

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2009, at 6:52 PM, starbucks4ever wrote:

    They should hire me because I can do as good a job as Wagoner did or better. If GM goes bankrupt again, at least no one will be able to say that the CEO has charged too much for this outcome.

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2009, at 7:59 PM, georcole wrote:

    As CEO I would put a lot more focus on electric vehicles or some other form of renewable energy. I saw a picture of Rockefeller driving an electric car back in the 1920's. If they had them back then, how come they haven't perfected them in the last 80 years. The information and technology is hidden in GM's vaults somewhere and I will find it and use it. The big oil companies can't buy me out. It comes down to ethics, not money.

    We also need to get rid of the unions and the exhorbitant salaries tied to ALL employees in the auto industries. There should be some kind of a salary scale so that nobody makes the kind of money they are getting paid now. I am a big supporter of paying with stock for all bonuses. If the average employee has a bunch of ownership in the company, they will do a better job at keeping us profitable.

    Streamline the offerings. We do not need to have a million different kind of vehicles. We do need to have enough selection so that we can satisfy our CUSTOMER's needs. We do not have to serve the needs of every PERSON though. Let our competitors fight over the money losing products.

    Sell only high quality vehicles. Since we are saving all that money on salaries, we can afford to put a little extra tlc into our vehicles.

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2009, at 8:01 PM, davekerber wrote:

    1) I spend less money than I make.

    2) I don't want government money.

    3) I have a conscience.

    4) I think the best path to success is consistently meeting and exceeding customer expectations.

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2009, at 8:08 PM, armonica17 wrote:

    They should hire me. I've seen the future in many industries. Saturn was right on for example as Wagoner did what he could to destroy it and keep that very questionable overlapping division - Buick. Like it is a sacred cow (well put eh?). I'd get rid of Buick as my first action unless there is one heck of a good reason to keep it. Cadillac and Chevrolet are the future. I'd keep GMC for heavy trucks.

    I'd also do what I could to eliminate the unions. Ever see a contract for one of the GM automakers? Last I knew Pontiac for example was about 6 FEET thick. A litigation cow. Saturns could fit into your shirt pocket. Laws have replaced what unions were for. Now they just take money from the workers. Get used to it, nobody elses job is safe, why should theirs be safe? I'm in that boat, have been all my working life.

    They need to be able to conduct business. That would mean getting back at least one of those Gulfstream jets. I'd justify it with Congress if need be. After all, Peleosi and Scheumer spend plenty of dollars on jets and they know it. They also know why. They need to be reminded of that and it is justified.

    I have a lot of other ideas. Like a FOOL I've said too much already.

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2009, at 8:18 PM, johnny7aa wrote:

    I would nominate former Porsche CEO Wendelin Wedeking. On an operational basis he turned Porsche into a quality and profitabilty powerhouse. He almost succeeded in buying VW. That was his only mistake. He knows successful branding and manufacturing. Not many people meet his qualification level.

    The second nomination would be Thomas Stallkamp. He was one of the key architects of Chrysler's platform teams. He understands manufacturing and was present through its amazing profit period in the 90's when they were making big money on their entire lineup.

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2009, at 9:06 PM, xetn wrote:

    I nominate Karl Marx or Adolf Hitler. I know they are dead, but so is the company and is no longer a "free-enterprise".

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2009, at 9:33 PM, jomueller1 wrote:

    Nice article and nice comments!

    Where is the "American Revolution" that was touted in so many ads? I did not see in GM's vehicles and more than that it should have been a revolution in the management suites. The guys were so image conscious that they paid dividends when the had to borrow money to do so. My simple math knowledge tells me that is a sure way to get into the red more every day/month/year.

    Could it be that the US government goes the same way?

    I would run GM for free. All I would want is the use of the business jets and cars, the chauffeurs and the expense account. I would demand a report from every one in management to tell how much money they spent and how much profit they generated. If they would come up with a negative number I would fire their boss because he is the one who did not do his job of oversight. Soon all top management would be out on the pasture and that is the opportunity to hire fresh blood with a vision. Problem solved.

  • Report this Comment On December 02, 2009, at 11:22 PM, Pathfinder137 wrote:

    Hire me...Hire me...Hard working, willing to sell GM products around the globe, lots of confidence.....

    Half Empty.....Half Full.....

    End of WWII East Germans sink into communism

    1957 - Intoduce the Trabant - meaning "fellow traveler" in honor of the Russian Sputnik launch.

    1962 - Last re-design of the Trabant.

    1989 - Last production model. Wall falls.

    2009-2012 - Rollout of new electric Trabant with lithium-ion battery, solar panels, and backup gas engine.

    End of WWII Begin golden age of GM

    1957 - GM imports Opels from West Germany

    1962 - GM's market share of cars and light trucks peaks at 51%.

    1989 - GM has Isuzu, Suzuki, and Toyota design and produce the Geo series of small cars. Fails. Stock Falls.

    2009 - 2012 - Rollout of new electric car with lithium-ion battery, backup gas engine.

    We know where it is going, lets just get out there and be confident and COMPETE!

  • Report this Comment On December 03, 2009, at 12:04 AM, scubadver wrote:

    My starting point would be to focus with the emerging markets still of China, India, and Brazil. It doesn't make sense to import the parts here to build it to ship it back. Build it and sell it there and the opportunity for locals to buy an "American" car for the same price as a local brand should boost sales.

    The second task should be to reduce the number of current plants and convert capable plants into flex factories able to produce the cars in response to consumer demand, not to force it. A major step in this path will be to reduce the number of part variations and to simplify the cross branding.

    The third task should be to increase the quality, which is actually easier said than done if you are not producing more cars than the market can handle. Reducing the standing inventory will allow for more cash in hand to be spent investing in better materials and R&D instead of producing extra, unsellable, cars.

    The fourth task should be to use the brands as they were meant to be used. GMC has the reputation as a job site vehicle, with trucks and SUV's. Having the same vehicle in the Chevy lineup with different badging makes for wast. Proceed to combine the two vehicles and then instead of offering competing badging, offer multiple packages to suit the buyers needs. The same to be done with Pontiac, Saturn, and Chevy car lineups. And finally with Buick and Cadillac.

  • Report this Comment On December 03, 2009, at 12:06 AM, scubadver wrote:

    My starting point would be to focus with the emerging markets still of China, India, and Brazil. It doesn't make sense to import the parts here to build it to ship it back. Build it and sell it there and the opportunity for locals to buy an "American" car for about the same as a local brand should boost sales.

    The second task should be to reduce the number of current plants and convert capable plants into flex factories able to produce the cars in response to consumer demand, not to force it. A major step in this path will be to reduce the number of part variations and to simplify the cross branding.

    The third task should be to increase the quality, which is actually easier said than done if you are not producing more cars than the market can handle. Reducing the standing inventory will allow for more cash in hand to be spent investing in better materials and R&D instead of producing extra, unsellable, cars.

    The fourth task should be to use the brands as they were meant to be used. GMC has the reputation as a job site vehicle, with trucks and SUV's. Having the same vehicle in the Chevy lineup with different badging makes for wast. Proceed to combine the two vehicles and then instead of offering competing badging, offer multiple packages to suit the buyers needs.

    The same to be done with Pontiac, Saturn, and Chevy car lineups. And finally with Buick and Cadillac.

  • Report this Comment On December 03, 2009, at 8:37 AM, wpbuck wrote:

    GO CHAPTER 11. SELL OFF ASSETS. PICK UP THE PIECES. START OVER AGAIN.

  • Report this Comment On December 03, 2009, at 9:40 AM, c5700 wrote:

    Nothing works better for an image do-over than changing the name of the company. The "GM" brand name is associated with so much negativity that it is going to be very hard to convince people to buy the product. So, my priority would be to change the name of the company.

    I think they had a good idea with "Saturn...a new kind of car company". They made fuel efficient small and medium sized cars that were reliable and easy to maintain. They were sold at a reasonable sticker price...andthere was no haggling with the dealer. So, I would re-introduce that concept and take it a "planet" further.....Uranus.

    I can picture the TV add now. The car, effortlessly gliding on the open road on a clear and bright day. The announcer intones: This...is the new Uranus car company. This....is a new concept in motor vehicle design and performance. This....is a committment to quality, reliablity, affordability, and responsibility...to our customers and to our world. This....is your excitement and your confidence. This...is your new American car company. This....is Uranus!

    I think it would have an impact.

  • Report this Comment On December 03, 2009, at 10:33 AM, blesto wrote:

    I would be happy to accept the position of CEO at GM. My only qualification is that I drive cars and trucks.

    One of the first things I would do is sponser racing events for hybrids and all electric vehicles. The best innovations and advances in automotive technology have come from racing.

    I would have engineers integrate the tailfin back into the Cadillac design.

    I would insist that we have the best warranties in the industry accross all car and truck lines.

    True quality, value, and service are the real luxuries. Cadillac will still have all the extras.

    I would constantly negotiate with the Union. If healthcare reform creates a public option, all GM employees from the top down will be under the public option.

    I would have GMAC only finance vehicle loans and create an insurance arm for offering car insurance to GM product owners only at first. The premiums can also be made part of the loan aggrement. Particulars will have to be worked out by those more knowledgable.

    These are just some of the first steps I would take. I would be willing to listen to all concepts and advice, but my decisions will be the bottom line.

    Thankyou.

  • Report this Comment On December 03, 2009, at 11:00 AM, jabez1 wrote:

    Would I have to sell my Toyota?

  • Report this Comment On December 03, 2009, at 11:05 AM, MrSucrose wrote:

    I would like to submit my resume and thoughts for cosideration:

    5 years experience as a government employee. Capable in bowing to multiple masters as of course this job will entail: Unions, the US Goverment, Goldman Sachs...wait the last two really are on in the same.

    I am a cost saver in the vein of Neutron Jack himself. I will remove most of the senior management and replace them with many of the new unemployeed owners of the company: the US Taxpayer. You may think that this isn't a wise plan as many of the new management will never have had experience running a car company. But I say to that, "The more things change the more they stay the same!" Think about it if I can replace 1 senior management position with many similarly qualified people receiving unemployment at a fraction of the cost, I could stimulate the economy and single-handily prevent the City of Detroit from joining Canada.

    In addition I think I have the next great idea in in green drive-trains. Wind propulsion. I propose a line of vehicles using sails. How does the Chevy Nina sound to you? Maybe the Buick Pinta. Or how about the Cadilac Santa Maria? Lets see Tiger Woods sail that into a tree. Green Jackets, Green Technologies, Green Trees...the marketing potential is endless. Who needs Howie Long?

  • Report this Comment On December 03, 2009, at 11:17 AM, stewieG wrote:

    If you can't play the game, reinvent the rules.

    Change the modes of transportation in the US and you control the market.

    With the tie-ins to the government, I would initiate fundamental changes to the way we use our roads. I wouldn't go as far as Jetsons but something more in line with the movie "I, Robot". Why not?

    GM could develop the technology and license the rights to use the new roads to other car and trucking companies, ensuring a steady stream of revenues.

    Also, I would contract out all labor to 3rd party manufacturers, whether it be for the new road system or the vehicles and eliminate all union or long term health care costs.

    You also eliminate the inefficient energy distribution method by centralizing all power generation used for the new system instead of delivering fuel to stations. Or open it up to people to supply energy as well. Either way, GM profits from the fraudulent green movement.

    Next would be international expansion. Other countries that are even more receptive to saving the environment, would embrace this kind of system as well as emerging countries flush with money. The Chinese would steal it anyway though...

  • Report this Comment On December 03, 2009, at 11:52 AM, TMFGreenwave wrote:

    Just so everyone knows, the contest runs until 12/8/09. And there is no cap on submissions, so comment early and often!

    Thanks for reading,

    Dave

  • Report this Comment On December 03, 2009, at 1:12 PM, chumchingee wrote:

    KISS. Stands for Keep It Simple Stupid. I did not originate the saying. That is what I would do as CEO.

    These would be my goals:

    1. Design a car to be worked on. No more hugging the engine department with every complex part known to man. Americans love to fool with their cars.

    2. Keep the price dirt low. Goes with KISS.

    3. Soundproof the engine compartment and passenger compartment to give the illusion of luxury without the price.

    4. Fire the accountant. Spend the extra 3 cents to make a part work a reasonable length of time. The car has to last long enough to pay off. No more rubber bands for timing belts. Use steel. Use good engineering instead of cheating.

    5. Aim to up quality control to pass Consumer Report's grade card of things that go wrong with a car. This report is killing us and it is true because it comes from our customers.

    6. Make it affordable for the average low wage American worker to buy. Goes with Number 2. Forget fancy, go with basic.

    Design a truck to replace transportation for the military. Make it cheap enough to replace but engineered to work on and flexible enough to redesign for certain areas of conflict around the world.

    That is why I would be a good CEO. I have seen the car industry from the bottom up...

  • Report this Comment On December 03, 2009, at 1:17 PM, LRMarbitrage wrote:

    cut costs, get rid of the unions, shut down all unprofitable units, and invest lease payment float in an all equities portfolio run by a talented investor.

  • Report this Comment On December 03, 2009, at 3:15 PM, mschmalf wrote:

    1. Cut union presense

    2. Fewer options, more standard

    2a. Options sold individually, not bundled

    3. All brands have unique styles (no-rebadging)

    3a. Share as many parts as feasible

    4. Make warranty class-leading

    4a. Make sure warranty rarely needed (quality)

    5. OnStar, ABS, TCS and side airbags in all vehicles

    6. Five star safety rating in all models

    7. No 'budget' cars. Quality or nothing

    8. Least expensive car should still look good

    9. Lower emissions, better mileage, retain power

    10. I will work for a small fraction of the current execs!

    There is plenty more to be done but there is a starting point.

  • Report this Comment On December 03, 2009, at 4:46 PM, Quivrful wrote:

    Ten step GM recovery proposal:

    First, I would require all remaining dealerships to also purchase a FORD franchise and change all the signs and letterheads to that name.

    Second, I would purchase every share of TATA stock that I could lay my hands on.

    Third, I would purchase 500,000 FORD embelms.

    Foutrth, I would purchase every car that TATA produced in the next year.

    Fifth, I would evenly distribute the embelms and TATA cars between all the "FORD" dealerships, with instructions on how to remove the TATA embelms and attach the FORD embelms, and sell everything at 2x dealer cost... no haggle agreeements!!

    Sixth, as soon as the value of the TATA stock went through the roof due to it's incredibly profitable year, I would sell all the stock I held.

    Seventh, I would sell all the profitable FORD franchises.

    Eighth, turn all those profits back to new "green" factories run by 22 year old interns.

    Ninth, I would plead guilty in court to fraud, pay the $200,000 fine and be released on probation.

    Tenth, I would quit after the first year of being the only person to turn around a sunk company so quickly, with my huge compensation package, and let the next guy try and duplicate my feat.

  • Report this Comment On December 03, 2009, at 7:23 PM, runyard wrote:

    I should be president of GM because:

    I owned a Honda Accord and drove it for 16 years.

    + I now own a Mini Cooper

    = I know a good car when I see one.

  • Report this Comment On December 03, 2009, at 7:45 PM, GyroDynasty wrote:

    I am the most qualified to be the next CEO of GM because as an outsider I'm able to see the problem objectively and rationally.

    First, my priority would be the general health of the company--no company, no chance to make money.

    Second, the employees would be paid according to output--we make money, they make money.

    If the union doesn't understand this, we'll simply close shop here and profit elsewhere.

    Third, the investors and their capital must be respected in every decision, thus corporate compensation will be base strictly on profits.

    Fourth, growth should be slow and sustainable and not burdened by debt.

    Concerning the vehicles--

    Step 1: Cut the 92 vehicles down to the most profitable 20.

    Step 2: Increase fuel efficiency by adding HHO generators to all of them.

    Step 3: Force the future, via having beautiful concept cars become consumer goods instead of just wishful thinking.

    Other concerns--

    Why limit yourself to just motor vehicles? Companies are created to make money. I would explore more ways to make money for the company.

  • Report this Comment On December 03, 2009, at 11:44 PM, rajdash wrote:

    GM Needs of all things someone who knows why Americans buy the cars they do. As a consumer who is connected to several diverse groups of folks with one thing in common (that is they all bought GM products in the past and now buy Toyota, Hyundai, Ford, Honda Subaru), I can help stem that tide. Americans want conveniences that GM provides, but they want reliability and excellent fit and finish. Cars that handle 80% as well as BMW and last 200% longer than GM cars. I can make that happen. With my Indian roots I understand great engineering and fiscal responsibility. Being raised in the Midwest I have a passion for enjoyable cars that are safe and reliable. Choose me.

  • Report this Comment On December 04, 2009, at 10:24 AM, RaviDesai wrote:

    Here are some ideas what would I do if I am in this position.

    First and foremost, re-brand GM. Change the name that attaches to the customer. Lately GM has been synonymous to not so good with average american. Also it is probably only auto company in the world whose best selling vehicle line does not resemble its name. So change it to something like Chevrolet Motors or something that creates a clear image in public eye for the company.

    Second, Hold a worldwide competition for design schools to come up with three car designs (Not engines, exterior and interior) for three current best selling models. The prize money can be around 1,000,000 USD which is lot of money for folks in schools. This will be money well invested and will save a lot of resources.

    Third, Work with different factories and workers to come up with reduction of daily operating cost. May it be in terms of reducing pays or getting alternative materials without compromising Quality. There is just one argument for Unions and workers: Do you want lot of money for next few months or you want less money but for longer period of time with possibility of increase later?

    Forth, I understand by taking pay-cuts lot of employees would be facing grave consequences but as a CEO of a responsible corporation, I would try to devote a portion of GMAC bank towards employees in distress. Help them work out with their current lender and if not try to refinance their current loans with GMAC on better terms in accordance with FDIC and govt rules.

    Fifth, Even though the brands like Oldsmobile, Pontiac, and Maybe Saturn are dead, I would take the 2 best selling vehicles of each of these three brand, modernize them (in terms of facilities and cost effectiveness) and re-launch them under Chevrolet brand. There were some loyal customers lost by these moves, while I do not expect all of them to come back but right now any gain is good gain.

    Sixth, Rental fleets would be presented only with the best cars that we make, not anything that we make. Only sell them fully loaded models because that's one place people make first hand opinions about the car they drive. Though it might look like we are losing revenue, but it will help in taking customer satisfaction higher compared to today and which in turn will bring more people.

    Seventh, Focus on next set of Emerging Markets. GM is pretty strong in India already, They are planning to make manufacturing hub in southern state of Tamilnadu, to take full advantage of it, try to identify the next set of markets that are going to have high growth in next decade. Focus on them early to gain advantage over the competition.

    Eighth, Whenever the next IPO comes out 25% of Preferred shares will be allocated to a fund that will be shared between all employees (Management and non-management) based on their base pay. There will be limits on the base pay especially for management. The dividend paid to these shares would be bonus for all employees.

    For now this is is the best few things as an insider to come up with without even looking into details. More things can be done once in the position and do further analysis.

    Cheers

  • Report this Comment On December 04, 2009, at 2:01 PM, ade11 wrote:

    I think the best reason to choose me would be that I would most probably not make things any more worse than it already is!

    I have never own a GM vehicle, so I have no deeply rooted bias.

    I know nuts about running a car company, so we can start on a clean slate.

    I am inexperienced and gullible- hence am more prudent and straight forward.

    I managed to reduced our company's debtors by 70% in 6 months and increase margins by 20% (really..).

    My talents include making bad news sound good and I need a pet. Preferably free, so I am not choosy.

    hahahaha..

  • Report this Comment On December 04, 2009, at 2:07 PM, ade11 wrote:

    I think the best reason to choose me would be that I would most probably not make things any more worse than it already is!

    I have never own a GM vehicle, so I have no deeply rooted bias.

    I know nuts about running a car company, so we can start on a clean slate.

    I am inexperienced and gullible- hence am more prudent and straight forward.

    I managed to reduced our company's debtors by 70% in 6 months and increase margins by 20% (really..).

    My talents include making bad news sound good and I need a pet. Preferably free, so I am not choosy.

    hahahaha..

  • Report this Comment On December 04, 2009, at 2:54 PM, chrispilg wrote:

    Why not start by taking that wad of cash that Geico lets sit there and sell yourself to China?

  • Report this Comment On December 04, 2009, at 3:29 PM, CraigInPA wrote:

    Let's be clear, first and foremost, that an entire product and salvation plan posted in 250 words or less for a company the size of GM is all but impossible. And, the goal of the GM Board is to find someone who can define a vision and make tough decisions to turn it around, not just operate as a welfare dependent of every country where they do business.

    I am the guy to turn around the company. I'll do it through dictating that the company operate like a business, producing products people want to buy (without discounts, rebates, and incentives), holding the cost of the product down by eliminating costly and outmoded ways of doing business, and paying its way as it goes. The unions will despise me more than Neutron Jack Welch. The elected representatives will hate me more, as I will abandon business units and drop employees that under-perform. The GM PR wonks will work full time explaining how the need to survive requires operating the business like a business, not a welfare state. And, they'll work extra hard to explain how GM now makes better products, more reliable products, at a better price, than Honda. How true will that be? Put me in charge. In five years, it will be true. When I'm done, there will be no one left at GM that doesn't understand and follow the philosophy of "engineering excellence, quality components, quality assurance, and quality control are the four legs on the chair. Our customers won't buy a chair that has only one or two or three legs."

  • Report this Comment On December 04, 2009, at 3:38 PM, pockpicket wrote:

    "Uranus" would be an unfortunate name for the new GM. Sort of like Nova in South America, except now you do not even need to know a second language to know that it is a bad name.

  • Report this Comment On December 04, 2009, at 4:22 PM, problem1solver wrote:

    Pick me and get an entrepreneur who would find new ways to market virially, and find products to co-brand and sell. Target average buyers, but give each brands individuality. Don't compete for same buyers in each brand. Market each brand differently. Focus on direct mail.

    Save Saturn's best designs for Chevy. Use them for high mileage vehicles.

    How about making a profit on selling a car? Dealers need profits as well. Get some loyalty and grow more profitable dealers.

    Work with the union to grow, cut expenses and save jobs.

    Get a CFO who can focus the company on cash flow improvements. How soon can we make loans and lease ourselves?

    Wendelin Wedeking, Jim Albaugh, or Jim McNerny would be good leadership choices.

  • Report this Comment On December 04, 2009, at 4:35 PM, expatpro7 wrote:

    I have over 30 years of experience in managing high value international petro-chemical related projects. As a maintenance and construction manager, I have headed pay for performance contracts which were highly successful in oil and gas, utilities, plastics and power plants. I have worked in extreme environments, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Far East Russia and in petro chemical maintenance and cap-ex projects in Europe and in the United States.

    I am a ‘car guy’ and have owned over 30 cars, including GM, Ford, BMW, Jaguar and a few MG sports cars in their day.

    My first objective would be to create jobs in the United States in the automobile sector to get GM back on solid financial and manufacturing ground. I would work with the UAW and other unions to effectively reduce costs in all areas and improve productivity, maintain high safety standards and product quality.

    Having worked in 7 countries, I know what people drive and want to drive in the future and am in a unique position to be able to share this with GM in order to expand their market share overseas, particularly in the Middle East where GM had an overwhelming advantage in the 1980’s and 1990’s which has dwindled since that time.

    If General Motors is seriously looking for a champion of cost reduction, productivity improvement with long term gains in market share in both domestic and international markets and someone with decades of senior management experience to bring to the mix, then I would strongly recommend they interview me for this critical job.

    Failure is not an option.

    A. H. C.

  • Report this Comment On December 04, 2009, at 5:03 PM, billdick6 wrote:

    I’m better qualified than prior CEOs to make GM prosper again because I speak mandarin. – The future of GM is mainly in China but Brazil and India will be growing markets too. Also, I would abandon ship (US branch of GM) before it destroys Global GM.

  • Report this Comment On December 04, 2009, at 5:22 PM, billdick6 wrote:

    Also, I forgot to tell what I would do with the US branch of GM, but I will steal. For example, Truthisntstupid on 2 Dec wrote:

    "Just GIVE the company to the UAW and make some kind of reality TV show out of what happens. I want to watch those clowns try to pay themselves $80 an hour and wonder why they can't make it."

    and that sounds good so I steal his idea as my plan.

  • Report this Comment On December 04, 2009, at 5:57 PM, drborst wrote:

    As CEO of GM, I would do the following:

    1. Convert factories to flex plants that can make several car models.

    2. Focus on Quality, GM already makes some good cars, but now they need to convince buyers of that. The return policy is 60 days on all cars sold. The warranty is 15 year /250,000 mi, but during the first two years it is a fix or replace warranty.

    3. Cars get a marketing name like they do now, but they also get a 'designed by' tag underneath the nameplate. Design teams are thus identified almost as a sub brand and paid a bonus based on how well the design sells relative to some target (the Camaro designers get wealthy, the Aztek guys leave because of low pay).

    4. A set of cars are designed without the designer nameplate but are customizable. They are then customized by non-auto branding partners. Mary Kay gets a specific Caddie. There is the A-rod hot rod. Purina dog transporter. the Tommy Hilfiger car. Costco has a full sized van and Walmart has something for less.

    5. We also bring back brands like Saturn under the designed by label, but they are sold as Chevys.

    6. Next Union contract sets wages and swaps all work and pension garantees for a profit sharing arrangement. It also requires that the UAW rebrand. "The New UAW" isn't going to cut it either. Something like the Transportation Manufacturing Club. to represent speficic issues, but if they were partners instead of adversaries, US auto manufacturing would be world class again.

    7. More non-engineers are needed to make product decisions. GM wanted to increase fleet effeciency, so they made Hybrid trucks and SUVs. Engineers understand why, but most people don't. [if you have two cars and drive then each 100 mi/day, one gets 10 mi/gallon and the other gets 50, you'll use 12 gal per day. You then can replace the 10 mi/gal car with a 12 mi/gal car or the 50 mi/gal car with a 50 mi/gal car. Option 2 sounds good, but it saves you 1 gal per day. Option 1 saves you ~1.6 gal/day, but discounts the image issue that sells cars).

    8. Focus on China, India, and Brazil.

  • Report this Comment On December 04, 2009, at 6:05 PM, BretSnydly wrote:

    I have had the experience working for CASE NEW HOLLAND for fourteen years under the wing of David Edwards, The Paint CZAR. With the assistance of Ed Franklin (Eddie), We turned the farm implement manufacture from a hundred million dollar company into a nine billion dollar company. Like 'manisapaints' above wrote interchangability. Design it for all platforms and backyard mechanics.

    Clearly I am the only choice for GM CEO!

  • Report this Comment On December 04, 2009, at 6:12 PM, cfowler28 wrote:

    I will accept the position of CEO of General Motors. My biggest qualification is I have never worked in the automotive industry. Therefore I don’t understand how not to run an automotive business. I have 38 years experience of turning around organizations that were not performing up to expectations. On one occasion I turned around a group that was building Atlas Missile sites for the USAF and was doing a terrible job, overrunning the cost and were behind schedule. In the next sixteen months we delivered two squadrons ahead of schedule and under cost. I rescued two contracts while at GE to build some hardware that normally took a year but the customer needed the equipment in 45 days. Both were completed and delivered to the customer as requested and within the contract price. I have the reputation of solving the impossible problems and turning around the organization from being a failure to being an outstanding performer. Considering the number of problems General Motors has I anticipate it will take me around two years to turn them around to being the climb back to being the number one automobile company in the world.

    I need a three month to terminate the position I am in today before I can get to GM. I will accept one half the salary and benefits that is the average of the last two GM CEOs. After the turnaround we will need to readjust the salary and benefits to match GM’s performance in the market place.

    Dr. Calvin D. Fowler, 321-784-6222, cfowler28@gmail.com

  • Report this Comment On December 04, 2009, at 8:17 PM, eko2 wrote:

    I've started two private ventures over the past five years; one in the computer repair industry and another in graphic design. Both have seen revenue growth of 200% year over year.

    I recently started dabbling in the investment field. In the past six months I have had 125% portfolio growth with my most impressive investment yielding $20,000 from $2,000.

    My consistent performance along with a solid degree in economics from Northwestern University, make me the ideal candidate for GM CEO.

    As CEO at GM I would commit to cutting marginal costs in half by 2015 while increasing revenue at least 10% year over year. I would accomplish this goal by implementing the following three strategies:

    • Freeing GM of the UAW union through lobbying, relocating facilities, and as a last resort, outsourcing jobs. Higher than market wages render GM non-competitive.

    • Shifting GM managements’ focus from worker productivity to worker creativity. Foreign manufacturers have effectively shown that the resulting productivity increases are twofold. First worker satisfaction increases productivity and reduces turnover. Second the employees’ creations help to increase the comfort, ease and speed at which on-the-job tasks are performed.

    • Focusing on foreign markets with an emphasis on the emerging markets of Asia. Long term devaluation of the dollar and increasing wealth of the world’s two largest populations will increase demand for US automobiles. Swift action must be taken to ensure market leadership. (smaller more efficient cars are a part of this initiative.)

  • Report this Comment On December 04, 2009, at 9:36 PM, ihtfp92 wrote:

    How I would restructure GM:

    1) Drastically reduce the number of management layers – this is a competitive industry that needs global scale to be profitable, it can’t be run like the Post Office.

    2) Eliminate all the artificial barriers between management and labor – no more separate elevators, parking lots or bathrooms with executive grade toilet paper.

    3) Put the engineers closer to the production lines – if you design it you ought to know how it’s going to be assembled (and used).

    4) Everyone, from the CEO on down, works one day per year on the shop floor. This is a manufacturing enterprise, not a spreadsheet abstraction.

    5) Eliminate all perks not available to everyone.

    6) Adopt a salary plus long-term “excess created wealth” stock option program for senior management. “Excess created wealth” means any gain in the stock price above the market average (i.e. a floating strike price). This only pays off if the company does better than average, and it works in a down market. Long-term means you can’t cash in until 2 years after you leave and then over a 4-year period. Using derivatives to reduce risk would be prohibited.

    7) Adopt the Japanese compensation structure for hourly employees: 30% of annual pay comes in the form of twice-yearly profit-sharing bonuses.

    8) Adopt a base salary plus bonus for all non-senior management, bonus paid only if the company is profitable that year. Long-term incentives are the same “excess created wealth” stock options.

    9) Adopt say-on-pay.

  • Report this Comment On December 04, 2009, at 9:38 PM, ihtfp92 wrote:

    How I would restructure GM:

    1) Drastically reduce the number of management layers – this is a competitive industry that needs global scale to be profitable, it can’t be run like the Post Office.

    2) Eliminate all the artificial barriers between management and labor – no more separate elevators, parking lots or bathrooms with executive grade toilet paper.

    3) Put the engineers closer to the production lines – if you design it you ought to know how it’s going to be assembled (and used).

    4) Everyone, from the CEO on down, works one day per year on the shop floor. This is a manufacturing enterprise, not a spreadsheet abstraction.

    5) Eliminate all perks not available to everyone.

    6) Adopt a salary plus long-term “excess created wealth” stock option program for senior management. “Excess created wealth” means any gain in the stock price above the market average (i.e. a floating strike price). This only pays off if the company does better than average, and it works in a down market. Long-term means you can’t cash in until 2 years after you leave and then over a 4-year period. Using derivatives to reduce risk would be prohibited.

    7) Adopt the Japanese compensation structure for hourly employees: 30% of annual pay comes in the form of twice-yearly profit-sharing bonuses.

    8) Adopt a base salary plus bonus for all non-senior management, bonus paid only if the company is profitable that year. Long-term incentives are the same “excess created wealth” stock options.

    9) Adopt say-on-pay.

  • Report this Comment On December 04, 2009, at 10:21 PM, Fool4Maine wrote:

    I remember a story about Lee Iacocca wanting to see a new convertible and it went something like this... The designers and engineers said it would take months... he told them they wern't listening. They repeated their objections. Mr. Iacocca called the plant and had a new car brought over. All the big wheels followed him down to the lobby. There he met the plant manager with the car. Iacocca told him to cut the roof off. Simple & straight forward.

    I spent nearly 20 years in the auto industry and almost became a GM dealer. Dodged (no pun) that bullet!

    I the mid-late 80's Oldsmobile had a new chief - John Rock. His very first words to us at the dealership level was an apology for "building a bunch of crap over the past few years". Well, that put a quiver in GM's spine - all the way up to top heads - Mr. Rock only had the job about a year.

    When building a car or truck thier are really only 2 questions... 1) Can the real public afford it? 2) Will it sell like crazy?

    Common Sense - They need it. I've got it.

  • Report this Comment On December 04, 2009, at 11:55 PM, eko2 wrote:

    revision of above...

    I've started two private ventures over the past five years; one in the computer repair industry and another in graphic design. Both have seen revenue growth of 200% year over year.

    I recently started dabbling in the investment field. In the past six months I have had 125% portfolio growth with my most impressive investment yielding $20,000 from $2,000.

    My consistent performance along with a solid degree in economics from Northwestern University, make me the ideal candidate for GM CEO.

    As CEO at GM I would commit to cutting marginal costs in half by 2015 while increasing revenue at least 10% year over year. I would accomplish this goal by implementing the following three strategies:

    • Freeing GM of the UAW union through lobbying, relocating facilities, and as a last resort, outsourcing jobs. Higher-than-market wages render GM non competitive.

    • Shifting GM managements’ focus from worker productivity to worker creativity. Foreign manufacturers have effectively shown that giving employees work-related freetime increases productivity twofold. First the program increaes worker satisfaction which in turn increases productivity and reduces turnover. Second, the products that employees invent on their free time often help increase the comfort, ease and speed at which on-the-job tasks are performed.

    • Focusing on foreign markets with an emphasis on the emerging markets of Asia. Long term devaluation of the dollar and increasing wealth of the world’s two largest populations will increase demand for US automobiles. Swift action must be taken to ensure market leadership. (smaller more efficient cars are a part of this initiative.)

  • Report this Comment On December 05, 2009, at 2:16 AM, Pathfinder137 wrote:

    Start my first GM day with a company meeting - Watch Tiger Buick ads, do some stretching, and get everyone on the same page with the company song....

    So bye-bye, miss american pie.

    Drove my chevy to the levee,

    But the levee was dry.

    And them good old boys were drinking whiskey and rye

    Singing, "this wll be the day that we die.

    "this wll be the day that we die."

    Then I will go to a martini lunch at a good Motor City steakhouse.

  • Report this Comment On December 05, 2009, at 9:55 AM, SQ2DARESCUE wrote:

    Please accept my application for employment as your new CEO. With a bit over ten years of experience at GM (1976 to 1987; four in UAW ranks and four in management; three years on furlough) and 23 years as CEO of a four time Inc. 5000 company, I have the necessary skills to meet the challenges faced by GM today.

    As CEO, I will do the following in the first 48 months.

    1. Eliminate all UAW contracts.

    2. Implement "right to work" rules in all GM facilities.

    3. Improve GM vendor quality requirements.

    4. Implement profit sharing plan with every GM employee in the company.

    5. Eliminate every redundant vehicle brand (ie; GMC Truck and Chevy Truck).

    6. Create culture of performance based compensation.

    7. Change plant workers from hourly to piece work pay. The more you produce the more you make.

    8. Fire all negative thinking employees.

    9. Break up GM into three or four operating companies in USA.

    10. Pay off tax payers first!

    11. Move GM HQ to Atlanta, GA.

    My compensation requirements are as follows:

    1. 1% of operating income not including depreciation write offs etc.

    2. Stock options equal to 5% of the value of the company on IPO day.

    3. Normal and customary expenses and fringe benefits.

  • Report this Comment On December 05, 2009, at 12:28 PM, blesto wrote:

    SQ2DARESCUE

    If this was an election I'd probably vote for you,

    but why Atlanta?

  • Report this Comment On December 05, 2009, at 2:15 PM, rookie2009 wrote:

    #1. Overall experience: 31 yrs.(1977-2008) as a give me more UAW "worker". This experience will help in the take huge compensation "position".CEO!!! #2.Quality expert: Old timers will remember the rust encrustation on their pickup truck sides during the 70's and 80's. I helped build them!!!

    #3. Need: As a spoiled, retired, UAW member, i've already lost vision and dental care, due to GM's bankruptcy. I also stand to lose 50% or more from my monthly "retirement" check. I recieve this for breathing. Great "work" for a 53 year old, eh? I need the money, although in honor of all great CEOs who work for a "dollar" until profitable, I will also work for a dollar.

    Question: May I keep my monthly "retirement" check?

    P.S. The 80,s were a great time! I can't remember how much work I missed going to "DEAD" concerts.Of course I can't! HA HA!!!

    P.S.S. This stock investing is tough. I actually NEED THIS PRIZE!!!!!!!

  • Report this Comment On December 05, 2009, at 11:19 PM, Chinastocks55 wrote:
  • Report this Comment On December 05, 2009, at 11:55 PM, NWNomad wrote:

    I am sure you will agree that I am remarkably qualified for the position of General Motors CEO. Unlike most applicants that have been conditioned by prolonged executive exposure I am more of a rogue. After carefully reviewing all six of my outstanding credentials your search will be over.

    Formal Qualifications

    1) I have read “The Toyota Way” by Jeffrey Liker so I have extensive formal training.

    2) I have met Alan Mulally and quite possibly have absorbed some lucky karma (or carma).

    3) I once owned a Chevy so I do have personal product experience.

    Personal Integrity

    1) I have never relied on a “golden parachute” or accepted a multi-million dollar severance package.

    2) I have never had an affair or inappropriate relationship with any employee that reported to me.

    3) I personally have never needed any TARP funds or received any form of bail out assistance from the government.

  • Report this Comment On December 06, 2009, at 1:16 AM, boomchuck wrote:

    First thing that should disqualify you from this contest --> Entering your comment twice.

  • Report this Comment On December 06, 2009, at 9:21 AM, exeter17 wrote:

    I recommend that I run it. I can run it a company into the ground at 1/10 of what any prior CEO made. And I'll even drive a Toyota to work as an object lesson

  • Report this Comment On December 06, 2009, at 9:40 AM, Kenjini wrote:

    GM is too big for its britches. They have quality vehicles but with such a broad focus they lose sight of their important vehicles.

    Brands that excel keep a very tight lineup of vehicles (Toyota for example). I'd chop how many vehicles the budget gets divvied up over and you'd have a massive bankroll to dump far more funds into developing models than almost any other car company.

    I'd repay TARP as quickly as possible because those who accept federal aid are too often hung by the strings attached.

    With such a gargantuan company as GM it'd be difficult to really implement a culture change outside of a few ideals and these would be the important two but you'd also want to hire a shrewd bean-counter to assess different divisions balance sheets and evaluate current programs based on merit.

    Cheers.

  • Report this Comment On December 06, 2009, at 10:38 AM, plange01 wrote:

    GM the bankrupt national disgrace living off of taxpayer welfare checks will close for good in 2010.

  • Report this Comment On December 07, 2009, at 9:39 AM, Zhire wrote:

    I am the next GM CEO.

    TODO list.

    1. Grow a Spine- Stand up to the Union

    2. Forget everything I know- Tradition in the automotive industry got us HERE-start fresh, from scratch.

    3. Re-evaluate Pay/Performance- Starting with my salary, 150k base no frills, negotiable upon 6 quarters of Actual profitability. Pay for skills (competitive non-ridiculous wage for actual job being done, if you hold a broom, you get paid to hold a broom)

    4. Get back to basics -Manufacturing in America is too worried about higher order productivity and forgets the basics.

    5. Simplify buying a car-Less options equals less headache. Do I want the rebate, or the 0% apr, or the 1.5% apr with a small rebate, or, or, or, or. keep your car, I'll be riding a bike.

    6. Nix Talent retention programs. Greater pay does not equal greater performance. Again, competitive wages, this talent managed to run this tanker ship into the Blue Ridge mountains.

    7. Share Profits- Upon REAL profitability, profit sharing to direct line workers.

    8. Be Competitive- Offer comparable cars, higher quality, lower cost, than your rivals. No need to get fancy.

    9. Be Reasonable- Lifetime power train warrantee? no. 200k/20 year? no.

    10. Be Progressive- Green the fleet.

    11. Be American- Create American jobs. Ok Ok, Canadian jobs too, Canada’s a loft apartment above a really great party.

    12. Fire Myself- If the ship isn’t underway in 2 years, I’ll be ontheway out the door. By then, the books should be pointed in the right direction to be profitable in 3-5 years.

  • Report this Comment On December 07, 2009, at 1:50 PM, plange01 wrote:

    GM the bankrupt and disgraced automaker living off taxpayer welfare checks needs to be closed for good.....

  • Report this Comment On December 07, 2009, at 4:13 PM, PhulishMortal wrote:

    My plan:

    1) Take of as CEO of GM.

    3) Profit!

    Thank you.

  • Report this Comment On December 07, 2009, at 5:40 PM, 1022ThirdAvenue wrote:

    I am applying for the position of CEO of GM.

    GM cannot arise from the ashes like a phoenix because it is too big, too clumsy, and contains too much dry rot. To succeed, GM needs to become a "start-up company", build confidence in itself, build the confidence of others in it, and rebuild associated industries. Here is how I would do that:

    (1) tell the unions that they have only one choice: reduce the labour force to 10% of existing, take a pay cut to $20.00 per hour, eliminate all health care and pension benefits. In exchange, I would offer each employee shares in the company as a sign-on bonus, and annual bonuses.

    (2) eliminate all current models of trucks, cars, and minivans:

    Then, in year number 1;

    (3) design a simple automobile that can carry four people and a 50# bag of potatoes from Paris to Marseille on 2 gallons of gasoline;

    (4) manufacture that automobile out of carbon-fiber reinforced resin over a frame of aluminum alloy;

    (5) paint it black;

    (6) price it so that not even Toyota could beat the price;

    (7) enter the automobile in every Nascar race on the circuit.

    In year number 2, apply the strategy outlined for year number 1 to the design, building, and sale of a single line of trucks.

    Maintain the above strategy for 5 years whilst pouring every penny of profit into making that single car line and that single truck line the best built, most efficient, and least problematic lines of vehicles in the world.

  • Report this Comment On December 08, 2009, at 12:40 AM, Syvarris wrote:

    I understand the importance of being taken serious by investors. More over investors' intelligence should be respected. Annual reports shouldn't resemble advertising magazines. As CEO of General Motors I would remove the marketing pictures that filled the first 45 pages of the 2007 report and insert a table of contents. I will steer GM to become a pioneer of innovation instead of resisting changes.

    My compensations would be tied to long term performance goals. The whole executive team and board of directors would be evaluated and possibly replaced with those experienced in corporate turn around. I would seek individuals like the Motley Fool's own Philip Durell.

    GM will be slimmed down to 3 distinct brands (Chevy, Buick, and Cadillac). The focus will shift from trucks to passenger cars. A goal will be set for the average MPG for the fleet by a certain date. I will focus the engineers and designers on making vehicles that are competitive in fuel efficiency, features, and styles.

    Only the cost effective and productive factories will be kept open. The dealer network will be reduced and organized to accommodate 3 brands.

    According to some, GM auto quality is perceived to be inferior to foreign competition. If that's legitimate then I would confront QC issues, otherwise marketing needs to address the negative perception.

    Employee compensation will become competitive with foreign producers' US factories. More employer friendly health care plans would be considered.

    Management of the pension will be outsourced to the Motley Fool.

  • Report this Comment On December 08, 2009, at 12:43 AM, Syvarris wrote:

    I understand the importance of being taken serious by investors. More over investors' intelligence should be respected. Annual reports shouldn't resemble advertising magazines. As CEO of General Motors I would remove the marketing pictures that filled the first 45 pages of the 2007 report and insert a table of contents. I will steer GM to become a pioneer of innovation instead of resisting changes.

    My compensations would be tied to long term performance goals. The whole executive team and board of directors would be evaluated and possibly replaced with those experienced in corporate turn around. I would seek individuals like the Motley Fool's own Philip Durell.

    GM will be slimmed down to 3 distinct brands (Chevy, Buick, and Cadillac). The focus will shift from trucks to passenger cars. A goal will be set for the average MPG for the fleet by a certain date. I will focus the engineers and designers on making vehicles that are competitive in fuel efficiency, features, and styles.

    Only the cost effective and productive factories will be kept open. The dealer network will be reduced and organized to accommodate 3 brands.

    According to some, GM auto quality is perceived to be inferior to foreign competition. If that's legitimate then I would confront QC issues, otherwise marketing needs to address the negative perception.

    Employee compensation will become competitive with foreign producers' US factories. More employer friendly health care plans would be considered.

    Management of the pension will be outsourced to the Motley Fool.

  • Report this Comment On December 08, 2009, at 3:59 AM, grad4252 wrote:

    I really think GM needs to start bringin back more of there older models. Kinda of a classic collector series only make 2500 per year and sell them for high dollar. Bring back more old styling that everyone loves from the late 60's and add the new features and fuel economy. Who wouldnt love to see a 67 Corvette brought back with luxuary and safety options of today? Or a 70's Chevelle?

  • Report this Comment On December 08, 2009, at 11:10 AM, Syvarris wrote:

    I understand the importance of being taken serious by investors. More over investors' intelligence should be respected. Annual reports shouldn't resemble advertising magazines. As CEO of General Motors I would remove the marketing pictures that filled the first 45 pages of the 2007 report and insert a table of contents.

    My compensations would be tied to long term performance goals. The whole executive team and board of directors would be evaluated and possibly replaced with those experienced in corporate turn around.

    GM will be slimmed down to 3 distinct brands (Chevy, Buick, and Cadillac). The focus will shift from trucks to passenger cars. A goal will be set for the average MPG for the fleet by a certain date. I will focus the engineers and designers on making vehicles that are competitive in fuel efficiency, features, and styles.

    Only the cost effective and productive factories will be kept open. The dealer network will be reduced and organized to accommodate 3 brands.

    According to some, GM auto quality is perceived to be inferior to foreign competition. If that's legitimate then I would confront QC issues, otherwise marketing needs to address the negative perception.

    Employee compensation will become competitive with foreign producers' US factories. More employer friendly health care plans would be considered.

    Retiree benefits will be structured to be feasible over the long term. Management of the pension will be outsourced to the Motley Fool.

    By working on the issues I've addressed, I will steer GM back to profitability.

  • Report this Comment On December 08, 2009, at 1:18 PM, tomd728 wrote:

    As my application for the Captain of the Titanic is under review I can't spread myself too thin.

    However from far, far, away I can advise the genius Dealer Network for starters and free of charge.

    Get real !!!!!......the vehicles you are asked to sell, though slightly upgraded from junk, should get pushed onto the street at about $ 300 over "dealer cost".

    GM on the other hand had better do something on their pension and health care costs to active employees and retirees or just close the joint down.

    The whole exercise now is very closely akin to urinating up wrapped hemp. What goes up must come down so grab an umbrella girls.

    Once you get the engineering right, if ever, don't change it.

    Tom

  • Report this Comment On December 09, 2009, at 1:29 AM, TMFUltraLong wrote:

    General Motors is at a crossroads in its history and the only way to properly direct the company toward future success is to aggressively re-brand and re-think the entire chain of production.

    North American consumers are less focused on buying “American-made” and are concerned more with simplicity and efficiency. GM needs to quickly and aggressively begin changing its image to that of a simpler, fuel-efficient and competitively priced company. Non-competitive brands need to be shelved, which simply means Saab needs to be wound down or sold off.

    GM has to face the comparative facts that it cannot compete with the substantially lower labor and material costs associated with Asia and Latin America. Significant reductions need to be effected over the course of the next three years to outsource a great number of jobs and production lines to foreign soil in order to increase operating margins and reduce overhead costs. This production shift should coincide with continued early-retirement offers to union workers in an effort to gradually reduce its US workforce by an estimated 20-25%.

    Reinventing GM also needs to come from within. Moving production and material costs overseas allows GM to focus on transforming into an innovator. By harnessing new ideas and applying a cleaner, greener approach to these ideas, GM can keep its most valuable asset, knowledge, within the United States. Goals should also be set to increase hybrid/electric vehicle production by 3% per year over the next decade.

    General Motors can be the standard once again.

    UltraLong

  • Report this Comment On December 10, 2009, at 6:39 PM, dvmgrad85 wrote:

    It was my boyhood dream to work for GM. I was willing to start with an entry level position then, but now if I have to start as CEO, so be it.

    I am a native Detroiter. So if my chauffer does not show up, I can still find my way to the office. Of course, I won’t have any corporate aircraft at my disposal.

    I do not have any auto industry experience. Oops, I forgot about the summer I interned at Chrysler in their Engineering Dept. Don’t hold that against me.

    I worked for IBM back in the 80’s when they were held up as a great model for industry. I still worked for them a couple of years later when they were regarded as inefficient, bloated, arrogant, and in need of saving. Maybe we better scratch this.

    I have lots of experience dealing with the government as a customer.

    I have an Engineering degree and a problem solver. GM has problems. GM has done a lot worse than having an engineer as CEO. Think Ed Cole.

    I would focus on the product line, making it 2nd to none. The new Camero is a good example. Anything GM built in the ‘80’s (Other than the ‘Vette) is an example of what not to do. I would place a Citation in the Design Studio to shame anyone still around that was responsible.

    Otherwise I would either fix their cost structure or make GM a 501 (c), and accept donations.

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