Rick Wagoner, Three Other Ex-GM CEOs Will Soon Be Deposed2
Former GM CEO Rick Wagoner, who led GM from 2000-2009, will be deposed by a gauntlet of lawyers currently suing GM for its alleged cover-up of the now infamous ignition switch recall, which has now been attributed to over 100 deaths (and counting) and many more injuries.
The ex-CEO, who oversaw losses of more than $82 billion during his tenure as head of GM, will be deposed on September 2. But as you can imagine, he’s not the only ex-CEO, according to Bob Hilliard, one of three lead attorneys in the class-action lawsuit against the automaker, is hoping to hook.
Hilliard would also like to depose Fritz Henderson (who was CEO for just eight months, from March 31 to December 1, 2009); Ed Whitacre; and of course Dan Akerson, predecessor to current CEO Mary Barra.
All four chief executive officers held their posts during GM’s period of government ownership and Hilliard demands to depose “every CEO who was there during the active coverup.”
According to a Detroit News report, more than 55 current and former GM employees will be deposed (a sworn, out-of-court testimony that is reduced to writing for use in court or for discovery), though most of the executive depositions won’t start until later on this year.
Former GM General counsel Michael Milliken will be deposed August 26 while Anton Valukas, the lawyer who helmed GM’s internal investigation and subsequent findings, will face his own on September 24. Meanwhile, Mary Barra will be deposed on October 8.
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This illustrates that the bloated corporate leadership , in my opinion ,could not even grasp the full picture , the complexity of managing this huge company with it’s thousands of purchasing agents , thousands of wide spread factory managers and support staff , to mention a few areas . Purchasing agents buying to a cost and not a quality , the worst public relations with parts suppliers , of the top six vehicle manufacturers out there …again in my opinion !! Thank god they got Grace Lieblein(pardon my spelling Grace) to head the parts and suppliers relations rebuild . When these people are deposed , I’m sure , in my mind , they can honestly say that this ignition problem was under the radar and not even a priority concern addressed to upper management .
Jim you have a good grasp of how bad things where there. There were so many issues there that people did things and hid them because the upper managers only looked at numbers. Most things they got away with but his is one that came back and bit them.
The issue now is that things were so bad communication wide there is little chance they can really prove much as anyone who could is not going to implicate themselves.
The folks at the top do not look at single parts they look at numbers and determine if things are going well or not. If going poorly they tell the lower managers to improve the numbers. Generally they do not know what they do or care as long as the numbers move back to what they want.
If you want the people that screwed up it is at the middle managers level. The Lutz book that was out before this came out points to how they tried to make numbers and how GM products suffered for it.
He had one guy working on the Impala and he left off the chrome around the windows. He asked why and the guy said this would put him over budget and he would get in trouble. Lutz told him does it look better with it? He said for sure it does. He then asked would it sell much better looking this way. He said yes. Then Lutz said would you rather get in trouble for a car over budget that is successful or would you rather make budget and let a car fail in sales?
Lutz told the guy to put them in and if he faced this again do what is right and not worry over being over budget if it will improve sales.