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Q&A: GM Chairman Fritz Henderson

“A fervent desire” to pay back taxpayers for bailout.

by on Nov.05, 2009

General Motors CEO Fritz Henderson is out to prove the critics wrong and pay back the billions in bailout money loaned by the U.S. Treasury.

General Motors CEO Fritz Henderson is out to prove the critics wrong and pay back the billions in bailout money loaned by the U.S. Treasury.

October proved to be an unexpectedly good month for General Motors, the carmaker posting its first year-over-year U.S. sales increase since early 2008.  In fact, things are looking notably better than the company anticipated when it emerged from its lightning dash through bankruptcy mid-year, said CEO Fritz Henderson.

But it’s also been a time of challenges and sudden, unexpected twists and turns, as was underscored by the GM Board’s decision to back out of the planned sale of a controlling interest in the German-based Opel subsidiary.

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Those are some of the subjects Henderson touched on during a breakfast hour meeting at GM headquarters in the Detroit Renaissance Center, today.  But the conversation also touched on a subject that clearly motivates the executive as he plans for the automaker’s hoped-for revival: paying back the tens of billions of dollars provided GM by the U.S. Treasury in an unprecedented bailout.

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