Posts Tagged ‘dan akerson’

Akerson Claims Didn’t Know about GM’s Cultural Issues

Former CEO lauds Barra’s handling of crisis.

by on Jul.28, 2014

Former GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson said he was unaware of how deep the company's cultural issues ran.

Former General Motors Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson now knows what he didn’t know then: the automaker’s cultural problems ran deeper than he realized when signed on in 2009.

Appointed by the Obama Administration to the automaker’s board and later taking over as CEO in 2010, Akerson told the Detroit News that recent recall crisis shows him that the problems with the company’s culture were worse than he imagined.

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“I think we all — including the new and the old part of the management team — didn’t fully realize how deep some of the problems ran,” said Akerson. “I think we built a good foundation. I think the company needed a lot of change, and I said a lot of that culture wasn’t where we wanted it to be.” (more…)

Akerson Claims Barra Didn’t Know About Problem

Former CEO says board didn’t throw her under the bus.

by on May.28, 2014

Former GM CEO Dan Akerson told Forbes magazine he believes Mary Barra didn't know about the ignition switch problem before January.

Former General Motors CEO Dan Akerson came to the defense of his successor, Mary Barra, saying he doesn’t believe she knew about the ignition switch problem that kicked off the recall of more 2.6 million small cars.

He also said the company’s board of directors didn’t put Barra in an impossible position by knowingly saddling her with a crisis.

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“Mary has said it: The moment she became aware of the problem, as I would expect, she confronted it,” Akerson said in an interview with Forbes magazine. “She didn’t know about it. I bet my life on it.” (more…)

Natural Gas Gets Boost from President Obama

But automakers, energy suppliers still need come aboard.

by on Jan.30, 2014

Obama omitted battery power during his speech, discussing alternatives such as CNG, instead.

It’s being billed as a cleaner alternative to gasoline and one in wide supply thanks to new fracking technology – and now, President Barack Obama is lending his support to the use of compressed natural gas as an automotive fuel.

The question is whether that will be enough to move automakers and energy suppliers who have so far been reluctant to commit their resources to adding new CNG-powered vehicles to their line-up and the fueling stations needed to power them.

Fuel for Thought!

After coming into office in January 2009, the Obama Administration seemed single-mindedly focused on battery power, shifting funds away from other promising technologies like hydrogen fuel-cells. But that has begun to change during the Obama second term and during his State of the Union address this week, the president put a focus on CNG.


Old Problems Still Likely to Dog New GM CEO Mary Barra

Behind Barra’s unlikely ascent from shop rat to chief executive.

by on Jan.16, 2014

GM's new CEO Mary Barra celebrates while watching GM sweep the 2014 North American Car and Truck of the Year awards.

General Motors moved into a new era this week as its first woman chief executive took over the reins from Dan Akerson, the gruff graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, who guided GM out from under government control.

GM veteran Mary Barra will likely face a level of unprecedented scrutiny, said her mentor and predecessor, as she assumes a control of a global company with both newfound momentum and an assortment of serious challenges – among the need to continue regaining share in its home market, a European subsidiary that has been operating deep in the red for 14 years, and increasing competition in the critical Chinese market.

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However, the 51-year-old Barra is no stranger to hard work. When she joined GM as an 18-year-old co-op student at GM’s new-abandoned Pontiac Motor Division, she followed her father, a die-maker and member the United Auto Workers Union, into the factories in Pontiac, Michigan.


GM Names New CFO, Restores Dividend for 1st Time Since 2008

Moves come as Mary Barra set to become maker’s first female CEO.

by on Jan.15, 2014

New GM CFO Chuck Stevens.

General Motors has named Chuck Stevens as its new chief financial officer, replacing current CFO Dan Ammann, who became the Detroit maker’s new president later this week as part of a broad management shift that sees Mary Barra become the new chief executive officer.

The move was approved by the GM board of directors which also restored the maker’s divided for the first time since July 2008, at a time when it was spiraling towards bankruptcy. Stockholders will receive a 30-cent dividend per share.

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The announcements come just weeks before GM is expected to report its 16th straight quarterly profits, a string that began soon after its emergence from Chapter 11 protection with the help of a nearly $50 billion federal bailout. The U.S. Treasury last month sold off the last of its holdings in the maker – at a final loss of about $10 billion.


GM CEO Akerson Rejects Repaying Government for Losses

“The die was cast,” said executive.

by on Dec.17, 2013

GM CEO Dan Akerson said the government took the same risks as other investors.

Soon-to-retire General Motors Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson has said thanks, but no thanks, to suggestions the now-profitable automaker should pay back the roughly $10 billion the U.S. Treasury is believed to have lost on its 2009 bailout of the then-bankrupt automaker.

Speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Akerson told his audience that the government took a risk like any other investor – including those wiped out when GM filed for Chapter 11 protection.  And, the CEO stressed, the bailout was far less expensive than the tens of billions of dollars in lost taxes and other revenues that would have been lost if GM had gone out of business.

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“I would not accept the premise that this was a bad deal,” said Akerson, who plans to retire on January 15, when his protégé Mary Barra becomes the first woman CEO at a major auto manufacturer. “The die was cast” when the government decided to take shares rather than make its investment in the form of a loan, Akerson emphasized.


Akerson Retiring, Barra Becomes New GM CEO, with Ammann President

51-year-old Barra is industry’s first woman chief executive.

by on Dec.10, 2013

GM names Barra its new CEO - and the first woman to lead a global automaker.

Just a day after the federal government ended its ownership stake in the post-bankruptcy General Motors, the automaker has announced a sweeping change in its management line-up.  That includes the retirement of Chairman and Chief Executive Dan Akerson, with Mary Barra taking his place as CEO of January 15, 2014.

The well-respected Barra, currently GM’s global product development czar, will become the first woman to serve as the chief executive officer of any major auto manufacturer in the world.

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Her new second-in-command will be Dan Ammann, a New Zealand native who signed on as GM chief financial officer after assisting the maker through its 2009 bankruptcy.

“I will leave with great satisfaction in what we have accomplished, great optimism over what is ahead and great pride that we are restoring General Motors as America’s standard bearer in the global auto industry,”  Akerson said in a message to the maker’s 85,500 employees.


US Treasury Sells off Final Shares of GM

“Government Motors” is now a completely private enterprise.

by on Dec.09, 2013

The Treasury exits GM more than four years after the maker's 2009 bankruptcy.

Call it “Government Motors” no more.  More than four years after it emerged from bankruptcy with the help of a $49.5 billion federal bailout that left American taxpayers holding the majority of the company the U.S. Treasury has sold off its final holdings in General Motors.

Wall Street traders have been reacting strongly to news that the White House was set to get out of the auto business, GM shares setting surging during Monday trading after last week topping the $40 mark since the maker’s November 2011 IPO.  Among other things, the maker will now be in a position to pay dividends on its common stock and to raise the pay of senior managers without first getting approval from the administration’s pay czar – limits enacted as part of the terms of GM’s bailout.

The Last Word!

“The U.S. Treasury’s ownership exit closes just one chapter in GM’s ongoing turnaround story,” said GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson.  “We will always be grateful for the second chance extended to us and we are doing our best to make the most of it. Today is not dramatically different from the hundreds of preceding days during which we have worked to make GM a company our country can be proud of again.


GM Stock Closes at All-Time High

Taxpayer loss on “Government Motors” bailout likely to dip slightly.

by on Dec.03, 2013

GM stock reaches a towering level - but can it hold?

Investors will be watching closely today to see if General Motors can maintain momentum after its stock closed at an all-time high on the first day of December trading – and just weeks before the federal government plans to sell off the last of the shares taken in return for GM’s $50 billion bailout in 2009.

GM stock closed Monday at $39.11, the highest figure since the “new” General Motors was formed in 2009 following the maker’s emergence from Chapter 11 protection.  Shares briefly climbed as high as $39.39 during the day.  The maker’s previous closing record was $38.98 on January 7, 2011.

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GM shares subsequently took a sharp tumble, dipping down into the mid-teens during the summer of 2011. Its 52-week low, meanwhile, was $24.40.  The automaker’s stock has been rebounding this year at a rate notably faster than the overall turnaround of the Dow Jones Industrial Average – which has itself been in record territory in recent weeks, nudging up as high as $16,174.51.


GM’s Eroding Market Share Raises Concerns

Strong reviews do little to buoy GM’s position.

by on Nov.04, 2013

Even strong 3rd-party endorsements for products like the Cadillac ATS have failed to boost GM's share.

Despite winning wide praise for its improving quality and well-reviewed new products, General Motors has been steadily losing market share, and that is raising concerns about the maker’s competitiveness, according to a new report from the General Accounting Office, which continues to monitor the U.S. Treasury Department’s investment in the Detroit maker following its 2009 bankruptcy.

The Treasury took a majority stake in GM but has been rapidly selling down its shares in recent months and expects to sell off the last of its holdings by next April – with the latest government report estimating taxpayers will ultimately lose about $9.7 billion on the bailout.

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On the positive side, the GAO report said the globe’s second-largest maker “has shown increasingly positive financial results” since its emergence from Chapter 11 protection, with “positive and growing operational cash flow, and a stable liquidity position.”  On the downside, “However, GM faces continued challenges to its competitiveness. For instance, its market share of vehicles sold in North America remains smaller today than in 2008. Furthermore, GM continues to carry large pension liabilities,” the report noted.


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