March 29th, 2009
06:21 PM ET
9 years ago

BREAKING: GM chief to step down, sources say


CNN has learned that the Obama administration asked GM CEO Rick Wagoner to resign. (Photo Credit: Getty Images/File)

WASHINGTON (CNN) - General Motors Chief Executive Rick Wagoner will resign as part of the federal government's plan to bail out the struggling automaker, White House and GM sources told CNN Sunday.

Wagoner's departure comes the day before President Barack Obama is expected to announce the latest details of the government's assistance plan for GM and Chrysler LLC.

A GM spokesman declined to comment, but a statement from the company said, "We are anticipating an announcement soon from the administration regarding the restructuring of the U.S. auto industry."

The two automakers face a Tuesday deadline to prove to the Treasury Department that they can be viable in the long term. Without such a finding, the government can recall the $13.4 billion it has already lent to GM and the $4 billion it loaned to Chrysler.

A 32-year company veteran, Wagoner has been CEO of GM since 2000.

Updated: 6:21 p.m.

–CNN's Kate Bolduan and John King contributed to this report.

Full story

Filed under: Auto Bailout • Obama administration
soundoff (111 Responses)
  1. Brad

    Obama seems to enjoy the role of dictator.

    GM was going down the toilet, there is no doubt about that. What worries me is the Federal government, specifically in executive branch, seems to be gaining more and more power with every new administration.

    Rick Wagoner probably should have left GM, in any case. But the way this was carried out doesn't sit well with me and shouldn't sit well with anyone. GM is a public company; it is not owned or ran by the government.

    ..but I'm sure all of you Obama cheerleaders will sing praises and continue to not think critically about anything that goes on, while you empower the political parties that run this country. Take back your democracy!

    March 29, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  2. bca

    Hopefully they get this Big 3 business mess cleaned up soon.

    March 29, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  3. Matt

    Too bad probably this is going to be the exception, not the rule.

    March 29, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  4. Doug

    So which european car driving member of O's auto team gets this job? If no bank execs on wall street were asked to leave, how in the name of the public can this person who has cut gm in half, lose his job? Really, the public is watching, no kidding.

    March 29, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  5. gl, Pittsburgh

    i just brought a 2008 GM car this week and got a good price. At lest the banks are starting to lead again. I got my car through Chase Bank on of the bank President Obama bailout. We just need to give all this some time. Give it time!

    March 29, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  6. Bluskys

    When he leaves much loot is he taking with him? Sounds like a familiar song and dance coming up once he has left .

    March 29, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  7. Wondering...

    What is he going to walk away from the table with. What is the golden parachute worth for stepping away from a company run into the ground?

    March 29, 2009 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  8. arithmetic is liberal

    ' Wonder how big his golden parachute is...?

    March 29, 2009 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  9. Deborah, Bronx

    Imagine that, never thought this could happen!! (abit late though, as I'm SURE he'll be leaving a ROTTEN RICH BLOKE) on the backs of those poor GM workers!! Is He and the other 2 Amigos (the Private Jet set) gonna serve any Prison time??, or will he just go Enjoy his Retirement, sipping Champagne and eating Caviar!! (while laughing at US ALL, the TaxPayers)!! Poor my Country America!!

    March 29, 2009 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  10. Cal Wellander, Saugus, Ca.

    Wow, the rats are abandoning the ship ! I'd have to guess it has to be something like "leave now and take your bonus" or wait until the restructuring comes and probably not getting any.

    March 29, 2009 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  11. Tom

    Any confidence building in GM seems to require the top execs get out of the picture. I suggest hiring some new blood from Honda or Toyota to get started on the right foot.

    March 29, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  12. The Broker.

    Listen!!!!! Listen! Do you know who you are talking to? No! I just found that out. Who is listening? I had that told to me, over and over again.

    You people just destroyed, all I learned...

    March 29, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  13. ib

    It is not right for a private company executive to have to resign because of the goverment wanting him to. Wake up people this goverment is taking us in the wrong direction. I'm saying Wagoner has done a good job it's just for the wrong reasons he is leaving.

    March 29, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  14. sam

    I guess he has gotten his millls so he can leave now. These guys, do they really care about the workers. He made things bad worst and I am sure that he got his bou-ass. Its a same. The GOP party, gave all these guys, what, tax cuts and who is going to suffer, the small man. I pray that the prez can change things around. The prez cares about the middle man and the under man..... Not the GOP....

    March 29, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  15. sam

    I guess he got his milllllls so he can leave too.

    March 29, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  16. The Broker.

    I guess you think I am as much an Idiot, as the guy you Elected.
    I talk to in "A moment". Remmember The Moment of Obama. You stole that from me. I have been in Commincations right up till Now.
    I fixed your First Word Processor,...

    March 29, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  17. DavidinCA

    Anyone gloating about this needs to take a minute and think again. This has nothing to do with fat cats losing the battle. This just highlights what a lousy decision the bailout was in the first place. Remember, this is a company propped up by our hard earned tax dollars. We're losing the battle because we are paying for these mistakes. I hope the administration and congress don't throw more of our nation's money at this disaster.

    March 29, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  18. rene ohio

    i would say it's overtime for this clown to leave, he has ruined thousands of families lives, mine included with his mismanagement of this company, he has taken other people jobs, he should loose his,, but of course he already has millions in the bank, as we have nothing

    March 29, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  19. Shepherd

    When the President of the United States forces a CEO from a publicly traded, private enterprise, every American should be furious and secondly very worried for our country. This is the job of the Board and shareholders, of which many of you are via your pensions and 401K's...You are witnessing a dynamic step change by a power monger (Obama) who is attacking our Constitution almost daily now...He took the oath to defend it and he has already broken that oath. Pay attention to not what he says but what he is doing...It speaks volumes. Stand up for your country before you can't.

    March 29, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  20. The Broker.

    Detroit! Michigan... You have just lost an age. How do you build, on: Nothing?

    March 29, 2009 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  21. SouthernMan

    I don't know, but from what I've heard Wagoner should have stepped down long ago. Let's hope that he doesn't get a golden parachute to go along with his salary.

    March 29, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  22. SeattleLatte

    It is time for him to go!

    March 29, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  23. Ray Fisher

    All automakers better retool to make hydrogen fuel cell autos or get left behind by the Germans, English, Swedes, Chinese, Indians, Japanese, etc... as they are all far ahead in hydrogen fuel cell technology needing only a fueling infrastructure to blast out of the gates!!!

    March 29, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  24. B

    Obama's on a roll folk! Now he can fire people from their jobs. Great.

    March 29, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  25. The Death of America by Obama

    America, wake up and open your eyes. This could happen to you next.
    This is not right and you know it.
    obama is a piece of................. You figure out the word.

    March 29, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
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