GM might as well just draw the name out of a hat. With decorated new acquisitions from the outside such as Chris Liddell and Ed Whitacre, along with the legendary Bob Lutz and GM veteran Mark Reuss, the position of CEO is anybody’s race.
GM claims to want a CEO from the “outside”. But sometimes things just happen. Sometimes the best choice was home all along. Sometimes it’s not. Regardless, here are some of the highlights for GM’s four major contenders for what could currently be the Auto Industry’s most demanding job.
- Ed Whitacre: The current interim CEO seems to be on track to turning the company around to becoming more accountable, consumer oriented and upholding the mission of building the best cars and trucks on the road. But doubling as GM’s Chairman may be too much for the man’s blood pressure. He predicted that he would not remain as CEO for long, but depending on how much he likes being at the helm, he might just stay there.
- Mark Reuss: has recently been appointed president of GM North America after serving a successful 18 months as Holden’s chairman and managing director in Australia, Ruess is also a second generation GM executive who climbed the ladder as an engineer by profession. Ruess has motor oil in his veins. He also has credentials to back it up, and his successful stay at Holden faced many of the same challenges that GM North America faces today.
- Chris Liddell: GM’s new CFO fills the shoes of Ray Young as he joins GM’s Global team. The New Zealand native holds most of his experience working as Microsoft’s CFO before landing at GM to face bigger challenges. Not much of a car guy (actually, he has no experience in the industry at all). However, his impressive track record in the financial field will prove useful in making GM very profitable once again.
- Bub Lutz: The eccentric vice chairman who oversees creative design along with strengthening customer relationships is very hands-on with the company and has more experience in the industry than any other GM executive by far. He also seems to be the biggest risk-taker and has the most personality.
The GM Authority Take
Out of the four, the one that could do the most for the company as a CEO is Mark Reuss – in this insightful blogger’s opinion. He’s done a great job at Holden and with the experience of keeping a car company profitable when selling to a market population just the size of Texas, he could do wonders as CEO. Or maybe by next week GM will have picked the new CEO from Mars. Because right now, anything is possible from The General.