Rattner on Whitacre Departure: He Wasn't a Long-TermerBy Doron Levin August 12, 2010
Steve Rattner, the former Wall Street banker who headed the U.S. Treasury's reorganization of General Motors and Chrysler, said Thursday that the abrupt resignation of Ed Whitacre as GM chief executive officer ``shows him as a man who meant what he said," that he didn't want to run GM long term.
``From the beginning, Ed made it clear he was willing to help out but he wasn't willing to have another long run as CEO.'' Whitacre was a retired CEO of ATT when he was tapped by the U.S. to reconstitute GM.
Akerson, a GM board member with experience in private equity, had been approached last year prior to the firing of Fritz Henderson as CEO and said he wasn't interested, said a source who declined to be identified.
"The country and the company are lucky to have Akerson,'' Rattner said. ``He's been on the board for a year and is intimately familiar with the company works and the challenges it faces.''
The former banker and Treasury official, who is writing a book about the government's rescue and $85 billion refinancing of the car industry, said GM's $1.3 billion second-quarter profit ``is very sustainable. GM still has a way to go to match Ford's profitability, that's the goal, to match Ford.''
Rattner said he didn't believe the abrupt management change compromised the success of GM's intended initial public offering of common stock, which is meant to ease the U.S. out of ownership of GM.
``This is the time to to lay out for the world to see who your management team will be. It will all work out fine, markets permitting,' he said.