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CFO Liddell as the new CEO in conversation


The search for a new head for the ailing carmaker, General Motors could take a surprising end. The Board Chairman Edward Whitacre has just introduced in Detroit Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell comes into play.

Detroit – For Chris Liddell it would be a lightning career. Only at the beginning of the year he had his post as chief financial officer of General Motors (GM) started. Last Wednesday was Administrative Chief Edward Whitacre, who currently also holds the CEO position, it falls above U.S. journalists in Detroit the name Liddell, when it came to the occupation of the chief executive post.

Liddell had won during his tenure as CFO at the software giant Microsoft a reputation as an iron savers and repeatedly expressed his ambitions for higher office. Whitacre, the strong man at GM, was a native New Zealander Liddell just hired because of his business remotely. Whitacre himself was for years head of the telecoms group AT & T and the assumption of office flirting like it, the car industry to have no idea.

Whitacre had risen with the intercession of the White House Chief Controller of General Motors. The carmaker had to register in bankruptcy last year and was saved only by billion-dollar assistance of the State in double quick time. Therefore, the state is now a majority shareholder.

The previous company’s director Fritz Henderson had to go in early December. In particular, the final burst of Opel sales led to a rift between him and Whitacre.

Work on Opel’s Future

About the future of the German subsidiary of GM will once again this Thursday. GM needs, according to earlier information 3.3 billion euros for the restructuring and investment plan for Istanbul. So far to Europe around 8300 the total of 48,000 jobs at Opel and its sister brand Vauxhall disappear. Nearly half of employees working at one of the four German sites.

Beginning of November, GM had canceled the planned sale of Opel’s most surprising to a consortium led by the Austro-Canadian supplier Magna and announced the Rüsselsheimer Group now want to rehabilitate themselves. So that GM had not only drawn the ire of the workers themselves but also of German politics.

Still in Henderson and the sale of the Swedish subsidiary Saab had burst. For the interim Chief Whitacre still sees little hope for rescue. He was not optimistic that it could still reach an agreement with the exclusive Dutch sports car maker Spyker on the sale of Saab. A rescue of Saab would "achieve really simple," if a bidder pass by with enough money in GM, "said Whitacre. Until now, no one had passed, however, so there are Saab "in liquidation mode."

Black sought

The U.S. group had mid-December, officially declared the end for Saab, could be achieved with Spyker after an initial offer of an agreement. The Dutch sports car manufacturer, then improved his offer after another. GM recently extended its end-December deadline for the sale of Saab again. According to media reports, this period was to expire on Thursday. Saab employs 3,400 people in Sweden. Unions, could spell the end of the auto maker for the loss of around 8,000 jobs, as well as suppliers are concerned.

Meanwhile, GM expects this year with black numbers. That would be the first profit in six years at GM. Now that the restructuring was nearing completion had, one of the launch of new models in sight, "said Whitacre continued. He also reiterated that GM until June 2010 to 6.7 billion U.S. dollars, widespread credit of the U.S. government wants to repay.

Overall, the U.S. government about 49.5 billion U.S. dollars in state funds had been invested in order to avert a collapse of General Motors. The bulk of this money was not paid as a loan, but went into the purchase of GM stock. With a share of 61 percent is the U.S. government is now majority owned by GM.