Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd was pretty straightforward on CBS’s “Face the Nation” when he said Wagoner should step down as CEO of GM for the automaker to get government loans. Even President-elect Barack Obama, without naming anyone in specific, said that the current auto industry execs should be ousted if they don’t understand the urgency to make changes. However, industry analysts, GM board members and even GM’s harshest critics are saying that now isn’t the time to let Wagoner go.
GM board member Kent Kresa wouldn’t say whether Wagoner’s future was discussed during a recent board meeting by telephone. Kresa said that he doesn’t feel Congress will require Wagoner to step down and that it would be a terrible move because Wagoner has made huge progress on the company’s restructuring efforts. “I don’t think it’s reasonable,” Kresa told the Associated Press.
University of Maryland’s economist Peter Morici, an outspoken auto industry critic, said the timing right now is really bad to ask Wagoner to leave.
“I advocated Wagoner going a couple of years ago,” Morici said Monday. “But at this critical time, it’s the wrong time to change helmsmen.”