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

BREAKING: GM chief to step down, sources say

ALT TEXT

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. wwoodguy

    No plans for restructure?, American taxpayers say, goodbye!

    March 29, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  2. shareeaz

    john mcains answer to this is let gm go into bankruptcy!! we as americans should ask him what kind of car he drives,i believe it is not a american owned company.this guy cares nothing about all the retirees that will loose there pension .maybe since the goverment is in such trouble ,the senitors should start taking pay cuts and give up there pension,this will help out the country ,they seem to not think about those kind of cuts ,just cuts for the bluecollar people !!!

    March 29, 2009 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  3. susie

    Who will be next on Obama's chopping board?

    March 29, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  4. Dylan from Minneapolis

    Maybe hire a CEO who's willing to make cars that American's actually want to buy.

    March 29, 2009 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  5. Doug in PA

    Funny...a little more than a year ago, the resignation of Wagoner wouldn't be on CNN's political ticker. Oh how far we've come...

    March 29, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  6. Capt. SNarKy

    So, under obama's Sociali...er, Nationalization of the Auto industry – How much of GM do I now own?

    March 29, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  7. ib

    I put in an earlier post (not sure if CNN will post it) that Wagoner was doing a good job I ment to say I not saying Wagoner is doing a good job. If he is or isn't it shouldn't be up to the goverment if he leaves or stays. It is scary people when the goverment tells private companies who can run or not run the company. Please wake up people; we are going down a wrong road; very wrong.

    March 29, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  8. Jamey

    In case anyone was wondered whether or not Joh McCain had found his faculties, it is obvious he did not.

    March 29, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  9. Biased

    What a double standard and a hypocritical one the Obama administration is showing here. They made no such demands of the Wall Street crowd or the banks yet now demand all kinds of concessions from the main street crowd of autoworkers and demand the resignations of their CEO before they hand over money. Which CEO's on Wall Street have they demanded step down before handing over TARP or Stimulus money? What did they do about curtailing bonuses other than not read the bill they signed and then slip in wording to allow bonuses before a certain date to be paid and then cry foul and get the major population all afire and some to the pioint of sending them death threats? This is so anti "Main street" that it is unbelievable.

    March 29, 2009 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  10. Jack in Florida

    Sad to say but it is true...........time for new blood to think outside of the box to fix GM. Need to get those contracts in line with reality............the auto industry has been in a world of their own for the past 30 years..............let's get competitive and kick some foreign butt!!!

    March 29, 2009 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  11. B.H.

    This guy should have gone away years ago just like some of the Bank CEOs that ran things into the ditch! This is what you get with a free market with no oversight by anyone..
    They said back in the 70s after Japan kicked their butts that GM would Change then..... We have to learn everything the hard way.

    March 29, 2009 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  12. Steve in Las Vegas,NV

    And how big is his bonus going to be? Will he jet away? Stay tuned

    March 29, 2009 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  13. Buckeye

    Too little, too late. Let the UAW run GM as an employee-owned company.

    March 29, 2009 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  14. Why Bother

    why bother

    March 29, 2009 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  15. joe smith

    one must now clearly say, Mr. Obama knows where his bread is being buttered; and it's not from management..

    March 29, 2009 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    is anyone else afraid of how Obama used his power to get this man to resign

    March 29, 2009 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  17. Larry B

    The list of possible GM CEO replacements includes:

    "Turbo Tax" Geithner
    Governor "FBI Probe" Richardson
    Tom "Tax Cheat" Daschel
    Nancy "I want a bigger jet " Pelosi
    Roland "I love Barack" Martin
    John "Ill take any job" Kerry
    100 assorted cheats, liars, lobbyists, and Obama contributors

    March 29, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  18. pete

    Let me be the first and probably only one to say anything here. This is as back handed as you get. Since when does any politician, or even the White House have the right to ask an Exec. to resign. More and more people are crumbling. Next thing is you have to resign your own positions and just take what the Gov gives you.

    March 29, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  19. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    The CEO of Chrysler needs to do the same.

    March 29, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  20. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    It's about time...he's been pulling down $40,000 per DAY to make poor decision after poor decision at GM, like giving the thumbs up to Pontiac making the Aztek, to letting Cadillac's flagship, the DTS, languish outdated on an ancient platform, to the marketing blunder of dropping hallowed names from the Grand Prix (now G 8) and DeVille (now DTS) and Grand Am (now G 6). I'm sure he's made good decisions too, but GM's market share has plunged during his tenure. Just don't reward him with a huge Golden Parachute as Home Depot did Nardelli after he trashed them badly...when he was fired he got one third BILLION dollars. Wagonner has made many tens of millions....he will be just fine without a taxpayer-funded parting gift.

    March 29, 2009 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  21. RLWellman

    Let me get this straight. If you run a company and you ask for a secured loan from the government, the head cheese has to step down in order to receive the help? Is this going to apply to the government also?
    First, I'm a GM retiree and I believe this should apply to the government too. Congressmen, Senators, Governors, and Mayors that receive help from the government for their state, should all resign if unable to run their state without help.
    Second, The president should also step down if he can't run the country without getting help from a communist country.

    March 29, 2009 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  22. Bruce

    IF only BHO would step down, also. That would be change I could believe in. He can only dream about what it takes to be a chief executive.

    March 29, 2009 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  23. Meka

    As it should be!

    March 29, 2009 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  24. Reatte Beaumont, Texas

    The government is controlling everything why not the auto industry also but one day when the government comes to your house then there will be more outrage and protest but that is right poeple voted for change well here it is and it is not in your pocket that you have change

    GOD BLESS AMERICA AND THE PEOPLE THAT WANT GOVERNMENT TO LEAVE THERE HANDS OFF THE WEALTH OF THE PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    HERES YOUR CHANGE ENJOY WHEN THEY COME FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 29, 2009 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  25. Rob Stumpf

    What a disaster for our country.

    I'd rather have another 5 years of recession than have the President of the United States use my tax money to become our economic dictator, hiring and firing on a whim. Yes, GM was stupid enough to take the bailout money (Chapter 11 always made a millions times more sense for everyone concerned), but it still sets the worst precedent imaginable.

    What expertise does Barry have to run a car company? Law Review? Community organizing?

    We have to get our priorities straight. FIRST, this must remain a free country. Then, if the government wants to tinker with the economy, whatever. But if there is no freedom here, then what's the point?

    March 29, 2009 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
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