Details are just now coming that General Motors CEO Fritz Henderson will step down from his post, and Ed Whitacre will act as interim President and CEO. Whitacre held a live press conference Tuesday afternoon and read a prepared statement with the news.
According to officials at the Treasury Department (The controllers of the Government’s over 60 percent stake in GM), “This decision was made by the Board of Directors alone. The Administration was not involved in the decision.”
Henderson took over the CEO spot when the federal government gave his predecessor, Rick Wagoner, walking papers.
Ed Whitacre is the former chairman and CEO of AT&T, and became GM’s chairman of the board in July of 2009.
Fritz Henderson was undoubtedly part of the discussions involving the sale of the HUMMER brand, though it’s unlikely that this will have an impact on an eventual sale.
Late last week we found out GM’s primary attempt to sell the SAAB brand had fallen through with Koenigsegg, similar to the Saturn deal failure with Penske Automotive. Despite the SAAB deal falling through, GM says “serious interest” remains in the brand.
It’s possible that the board was concerned Henderson’s inability to lead the team through major brand liquidations and the image that portrayed on GM’s new leadership. However, selling a profitable brand like HUMMER will be an easier task than two historical non-producers like SAAB and Saturn.