At a news conference in Detroit late this morning, GM chairman and acting CEO Ed Whitacre, Jr., said that he has agreed to take the CEO job for an indefinite period following a request by last week by the U.S. government-packed board of directors.
The announcement confirms new reports, including ours, of earlier today, and possibly calls into question the effectiveness of regulation FD, or fair disclosure, from the Security and Exchange Commission, which is designed to prevent the selective release of news material to some of a company’s investors before it’s publicly revealed to all.
U.S. taxpayers have invested $120 billion in the U.S. auto industry, with GM representing $50 billion of that amount. Management changes are without question material.
This place needs some stability,” Whitacre said. “And I guess that’s me.”
The announcement comes just before President Obama’s first State of the Union address this Wednesday. Obama, whose ratings among independent voters are plummeting, is expected continue his recent themes of attacking Wall Street banking plutocrats, some of whom were responsible for the wildly unpopular bailouts of the financial industry, as well as the taxpayer-subsidized reorganizations of GM, Chrysler and GMAC, among other loss-making concerns in the automobile business.
Last week GM announced that a consummate Wall Street banking insider, Stephen Girsky, is being paid almost $1 million a year.