Posts Tagged ‘gm’

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You’re Fired, Rick

April 9, 2009

Economic downturn, recession, depression…  Whatever words you use to describe the current state of the economy, chances are that not a day goes by where you’re not involved in some sort of discussion of the topic.  Chances are that if you’ve actually taken the time to find and read this article, you’ve already been handed a pink slip yourself.  Maybe it’s just a temporary lay-off, or maybe it’s permanent.  Maybe you saw it coming.  After all, corporate execs typically frown upon such things as lack of punctuality, spending too much time chatting at the water cooler or using the boss’s laptop to check your Facebook profile.  Nowadays companies are much more likely to implement cost-saving measures and trim the fat off their staffing levels.  Roles are being combined; salaries are being slashed.  Not even upper management is safe anymore.

Enter the life of Rick Wagoner, former CEO of General Motors.  Now arguably, holding the title of Chief Executive Officer merits a certain amount confidence in your job security.  One could make the reasonable assumption that at that level, the only person that could fire you is, well, you, unless the following criteria are met: One, during your nine-year reign you somehow contribute to the company losing 10% of its market share, causing a $60 drop in share price for an overall loss of $85 billion.  Two, this man happens to walk into your office to talk business:

Barack Obama

It officially sucks to be Rick Wagoner.  Granted, I’m sure he’s not hurting for cash.  You don’t make a $1.5 million salary and not make some good investments.  But why use a warhead to destroy an ant hill when a shovel will do?  I can’t think of a more humbling experience.  Isn’t there a board of directors that can take control of the company if profits are plummeting?  Didn’t they think to enact some emergency powers after the first $42.5 billion were flushed down the corporate toilet?  Maybe Barack was just miffed because his Yukon XL broke down on the way to Camp David, but whatever the reason, being fired by the President of the United States can’t be good for your reputation, or your resume.  Good luck finding another job, Rick.  Just don’t have anyone call the White House for references.

~B