"When Ed Whitacre decides, it's not negotiable. If he decides against you, you're done."
--Coca-Cola (KO) exec Wendy Clark, about General Motors' (GM) new CEO, whom she worked for when he headed AT&T (ATT). Today, the GM board ousted CEO Fritz Henderson, who was in the post just eight months, and installed Whitacre, GM's chairman, as the new chief executive.
No doubt, Whitacre had a key role in the power shift.
And hearing Clark talk about the man, you understand that anyone working under him is on a short leash. Clark, a rising star who is SVP of Integrated Marketing and Communications at Coke and previously headed marketing for Whitacre at AT&T, spoke about his unusual leadership style last month at a Fortune Most Powerful Women dinner event in Atlanta. "He doesn't talk much. He listens intently. He surrounds himself with experts who know everything," Clark said. She calls Whitacre "the greatest mentor" she's ever had.
Her view of Whitacre at GM? "If Ed can't fix it, no one can fix it," she says.--Patricia Sellers
"I felt it was the right thing to do. We are a company that expects the highest performance and accountability, and that starts at the top."
- AT&T (ATT) CEO Randall L. Stephenson, in a memo to employees about forgoing his 2008 bonus. Here's a boss who (unlike the Wall Street honchos) didn't have to give it up. In fact, Stephenson's decision distinguishes him as a very different kind of leader MOREPatricia Sellers - Feb 2, 2009 3:59 PM ET
by Stephanie Mehta
Pattie Sellers recently blogged about good and bad corporate behavior. Here's another example to add to the "good form" category: AT&T chief Randall L. Stephenson is forgoing his 2008 bonus.
"I asked the board not to pay me a bonus for 2008, and they approved that request," Stephenson wrote in a memo to employees. "Given the economic environment, the workforce reductions, and our earnings outlook for 2009, I felt MOREPatricia Sellers - Feb 2, 2009 1:41 PM ET
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