So, having grown up as a Pontiac guy, I watched with much interest and inticipation last year, the news that General Motors had decided to shut down the Pontiac brand. The reports and reasons were vast and varied and generally made sense to me as a business person. Still, there was some sense of resentment and displeasure that the only truly exciting division (arguable, sure) at GM was getting axed. As Mr. Fritz Henderson took the reins and leadership (never really hearing anything about the guy beforehand, made me apprehensive he was going to be a real leader), I felt upset that the one car I wanted GM to keep in their lineup was being taken away from me (the G8). I hated the fact that Mr. Henderson was not only killing off my favourite lineup at GM, but he was also taking away my ability to purchase the ONE car I wanted to buy (and could afford). It made no sense to me whatsoever, that the G8 couldn't be adapted or rebadged as a Buick or Chevy. I was livid, and hoped to see the day Fritz was done at GM (btw, although they weren't perfect by any stretch, I admired the courage Bob Lutz and Rick Wagoner were taking GM).
So, today comes news that Mr. Henderson has resigned as he's failed the "100 day test" of The Board, not being able to take GM in the direction they need to go, nor able to fix its finances (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=as7O7Mw_PVa0&pos=5). Well, I'm one that's definitely happy to hear the news, not so much for seeing yet another executive take a nice (I'm sure) payout package and leave his company hanging, but in the fact that maybe now The Board can find a real leader to take the company forward (I never really heard much from Fritz - in the news - on what he was gonna do with the company). I am hoping that interim Ed Whitacre (former head of AT&T Inc and current Chairman of GM's board) has a chance to really look at the direction GM should be moving forward, and brings on a leader with vision and courage to bring on the next phase of the GM plan. One of the important, as I see it, things this leader will need to consider is not only offering what the general public claims to want, but to bring back some of the passion that feels lost since Lutz left last year (and the concepts/designs he's taken with him).
Let's hope that Mr. Whitacre can bring in someone that not only creates a car we can live with, but in 50 years, our kids can say "that was an awesome time and there were some great opportunities" and we can say "yes, and that's the kind of leadership and foresight GM needs again today".