Saturday, April 4, 2009

Rick Wagoner Makes History: First CEO to be Fired by a Sitting President!

Rick Wagoner, barack obama, GM, bailout,  Pearl Harbor, Korea, Daewoo, Kim Woo-jung,  Kim Dae-jung, "I don't believe we have the luxury of a lot of time," GM CEO Rick Wagoner told a House hearing. And boy was he right. From the New Zealand Herald: "Rick Wagoner never saw the axe coming. When the ousted boss of General Motors arrived at the US Treasury Department for a meeting with the Obama Aministration's task force, he was a 32-year GM veteran and a CEO carrying the weight of the company's wrenching restructuring on his 1.95m frame. But Wagoner's plan for a GM turnaround and a US$16 billion bailout was rejected in the meeting and the company where he spent his entire professional life fell off his shoulders. Wagoner stepped into the afternoon air jobless. "In the course of that meeting, they requested that I step aside as CEO of GM, and so I have," Wagoner said in a message posted on the carmaker's website. A majority of GM's board will also be replaced."

And this can't be the kind of news that makes the rest of corporate America happy, but when your industry is in so much debt that you have nowhere else to go but to Uncle Sam for cash all of a sudden it makes the government your largest shareholder and therefore most powerful.

In a move reminiscent of Vladmir Putin when he had Mikhail Khodorkovsky arrested in 2003, when he was CEO of the Yukos oil company and the wealthiest man in Russia, Barack Obama has sent a powerful signal to the corporate elite who can't seem to run a business. Change, baby, change - or I'll change you.

I recall running my own company in Korea in 1999 during the Asian financial crisis when then President Kim Dae-jung allowed Daewoo corporation to fail, instead of bailing the company out with government money, taking with it Kim Woo-jung, its enigmatic founder who had just years before penned a best-seller entitled "Every Rick Wagoner, barack obama, GM, bailout,  Pearl Harbor, Korea, Daewoo, Kim Woo-jung,  Kim Dae-jung, Street Is Paved With Gold". All of a sudden, Korea woke up - and the watershed of entrepreneurial successes that have made it the number one Internet country in the world was born. That this could happen in America now may be the rebirth the country has been in such desperate need of. I hope it does. Because if it's one thing we do well in America, better than almost anyone else, is come back from a lickin' ten times stronger. Remember, Pearl Harbor? It does now seem that we had that opportunity after 911 as well but we dropped the ball. We focused on the negative instead of the positive, went after the wrong enemy and ended up, well, here today. Now is the time for new beginnings. Now is the time to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and get back to business - and business is about making money, not loosing it. Goodbye Rick Wagoner. It's time to move on. I'm ready to rock!

For more on Obama, click below:

Obama to Send 30,000 Troops to Tiger Woods House


  1. I know I'm getting old, but I seem to recall that President Bush demanded and got the resignations of the CEOs of AIG, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac before those too-big-to-fail entities got any bailout money.

    I suspect Rick Wagoner was simply rolled up, stuffed into a cannon, and fired across the bow of other recipients of bailout dollars as a warning shot.

    What do you think?

  2. You're right Burr, but this one was just bigger news, because of the visibility of the company, and looked like they just dragged him in and sacked him to signal that no more shit was to be taken - as you pointed out.

  3. Perhaps we need to pity the greed of these companies.
    Check out
    for reasons why

  4. Oh, and Burr? I said "sitting" President. I'm sure Bush was standing up when he busted his moves!


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