"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
by Patricia Sellers
You might call Al Koch the world's biggest trash collector. As bankrupt General Motors (GM) splits into two parts -- New GM, containing Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick, and GMC, and Old GM, containing designated bad assets such as Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer, Saab -- Koch is the hired gun who's supposed to create value from that latter lot.
Bringing "New GM" out of bankruptcy will be difficult enough. Why would anyone MOREPatricia Sellers - Jun 1, 2009 2:41 PM ET
We love this ad:
"You can file our obituary where the sun don't shine. It's times like these that raise the important questions. Do you cower, or do you live free. Do you succumb to fear and doubt, or do you seize the throttle and give it a fearless twist forward. From where we sit in the saddle, we see American companies and good old American ingenuity wrenching the life back MOREJessica Shambora, Writer-Reporter - Mar 30, 2009 6:46 PM ET
You think you lost a bundle in the market? The CEOs who lead the companies in the upper decks of the Fortune 500 have fared even worse: Their stock holdings in their own companies declined in value by $54 billion last year.
A just-released study by executive compensation consultancy Steven Hall & Partners sums up the damage. For CEOs who head 175 of the top 200 corporations in the Fortune 500, MOREPatricia Sellers - Jan 22, 2009 2:06 PM ET
by Jessica Shambora
When Ellen Kullman stepped into the CEO role at DuPont (DD) this month, she became the 13th female Fortune 500 CEO. That's a milestone. But Kullman's ascension passed with little fanfare. She addressed employees in a year-end video on DuPont's intranet site but has yet to address them as a group or to send out a company-wide email since the start of the year.
Why so quiet? Well, unlike MOREJessica Shambora, Writer-Reporter - Jan 8, 2009 2:31 PM ET
"You think I would have gone through what I did the last two months if I didn't want to stay?"
-- General Motors (GM) chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner, reiterating today that he's determined to keep his job. In exchange for a $13.4 billion rescue package (which will come from the government's $700 bllion TARP fund aimed at banks and Wall Street firms), executives at GM and Chrysler agreed to limits MOREPatricia Sellers - Dec 19, 2008 6:39 PM ET
'Tis the season for confessions. First comes denial -- every mortal's classic response in a crisis. But in times like these, any leader worth his or her lofty position and pay recognizes mistakes soon enough. True confession is the mark of a confident leader. So, what's your biggest mistake?
In the past week alone, we've noticed a positive trend: leaders fessing up. "GM has made mistakes in the past," General Motors MOREPatricia Sellers - Dec 8, 2008 2:11 PM ET
As the government commits more and more money to its multitudinous rescue efforts--of Bear Stearns, then AIG (AIG), then Citigroup (C) and its bank rivals, then Citigroup again, and now more money for Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE)--we wonder: Where, oh where, will these bailouts end? In Detroit, with General Motors (GM), Ford (F)and Chrysler securing their desperately needed billions? Alas, the road to shore up capitalism will MOREPatricia Sellers - Nov 26, 2008 2:01 PM ET
"If I wanted to make money, I would do something easier. Maybe women are prone to take crazy risks."
-- Anne Wojcicki, co-founder of consumer DNA startup 23andMe. The company's gene-testing service was named "Invention of the Year" in the new issue of Time. 23andMe beat runners-up such as the Tesla Roadster at No. 2, the Chevy Volt (GM) at No. 7, the Speedo (WRC) LZR Racer (No. 26), high-tech running MOREJessica Shambora, Writer-Reporter - Nov 3, 2008 6:38 PM ET
This morning, I read about the potential merger of General Motors (GM) and Chrysler. Then I read about the benign rivalry of two divas of the blog world, Arianna Huffington and Tina Brown. Two stories that have nothing to do with each other? You would think. But actually, they do. They point to a new reality of the business world: Competition isn't what it used to be. Competition becomes coopetition. MOREPatricia Sellers - Oct 27, 2008 5:14 PM ET
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