Experts Available to Discuss Turmoil at General Motors

Mar 10, 2011, 14:39 ET from National Legal and Policy Center

As GM loses another top executive, National Legal and Policy Center President Peter Flaherty says the move shows "all is not rosy with the company."

WASHINGTON, March 10, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- General Motors Co. has announced the departure of yet another C-level executive: Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell will step down April 11 after just over one year at the automaker. 

Since accepting a government bailout that earned it the nickname "Government Motors," GM has had four different chief executive officers and numerous departures in other C-level positions. Liddell's departure continues a turnover at the highest levels of management that is creating uncertainty over the company's stability.

WHO: Peter Flaherty, co-founder and president of the National Legal and Policy Center, is a widely respected business analyst and automobile industry expert, having been cited, interviewed and published on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNBC, CNN, C-SPAN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, USA Today, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Detroit News and many others.

Mark Modica, GM Bond holder

WHAT: Flaherty is available to discuss the causes – and potential effects – of the ongoing turmoil at GM. He says Liddell's resignation "underscores that not all is rosy with the company. This resignation seems to confirm what we have been saying for some months now: that the company faces an upstream swim and its long-term prospects are uncertain." He points out some of the key warning signs, and possible causes, of GM's struggles:

Modica can discuss the changes from a bond holders point of view.

  • Healthy, vibrant companies don't have C-level executives leaving on such short notice, especially so soon after an initial public offering.
  • High turnover is good evidence of a short-term focus that likely stems from CEO Daniel Akerson's history on Wall Street. The company is operating as a banker-led hedge fund, not a car company.
  • Akerson continues to bring in "finance guys," not "car guys." Liddell's replacement in the CFO position will be Dan Ammann, the former head of Industrial Investment Banking at Morgan Stanley, who has only been with GM since March 2010.
  • The personalities at the top of companies make a tremendous impact on the decisions, direction, mindset, communications tone and overall persona of their companies. Much more, in fact, than people realize.

SOURCE National Legal and Policy Center