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. annie - Palin 2012

    Who's the govt. putting in charge timmie tax cheat?

    March 29, 2009 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  2. rob

    GOOD. And thank you Mr President for showing more GREAT LEADERSHIP in helping to make this decision.

    March 29, 2009 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  3. Josh in Rochester, MN

    The rumor is that Wagoner is stepping down because Obama is threatening to hold bailout funds if he does not. If this is in fact true, then a new and VERY frightening precident has been set. Wagoner will get a huge severance and Obama will further his control of the car industry. WHAT IS HAPPENING TO AMERICA?!?!

    March 29, 2009 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  4. Barry

    Now the administration is telling large companies who they can employee and who they cannot. Next they will be telling other institutions what they can and cannot do. Looking bad for us.

    March 29, 2009 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  5. HubScout

    well, he kept his promise. although I think the Volt was supposed to fail FIRST.

    March 29, 2009 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  6. Don B. from Houston

    LONG overdue! Leadership demands vision. I have never seen Mr. Wagoner exercise any leadership.

    March 29, 2009 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  7. Will SouthDakota

    BIG OIL should be bailing the auto industry out, BP< SHELL< EXXON< MOBILE, they have all of themoney.

    March 29, 2009 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  8. smiff

    Another union win!!! Go Barry, get rid of all of em!!!

    March 29, 2009 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  9. RealityKing

    How much wasted tax moneyt is too much for a politician?? My support for America's auto industry ends today..

    March 29, 2009 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  10. Kathie

    This is totally ridiculous. I do not see the head of Citigroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo or AIG being told to step down. And they are the ones who caused this mess. You make the car industry beg in front of Congress for help, humiliate them but NOT Citigroup, Bank of America, AIG, Wells Fargo etc. It all boils down to blue collar vs white collar. Screw the people that are actually doing the work and keeping this country going. Hand out after hand out to stuffed shirts, pencil pushers and greedy idiots!!!!.

    I dare you print this CNN as you have basically locked my comments out. Nice censorship!!!

    March 29, 2009 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  11. John

    When you are in charge of a compant that makes junk you should be gone. Good riddance!

    March 29, 2009 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  12. Brian

    I was reading another news story ib CNN Money that said many banks are trying to give back TARP money because of the governments restrictions. GM and Chrysler should just file a planned bankruptcy. They are worried no one will by their cars, well a) no one is anyway thats the problem or b) people will just like we buy tickets from bankrupt airlines.

    Cancel all contracts labor, suppliers, etc... And start from scratch with a 2009 model for the industry. After all the model they are using now is based on 60,70,80's. And I am not talking about going to all hybrid cars. Sell what people want, whatever that is not what the government tells you it should be.

    March 29, 2009 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  13. dude

    obama is a fool. they forced rick wagoner out so they can push their socialist agendas. to force the american people to buy cars that they do not want. global warming is a lie.

    March 29, 2009 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  14. bill

    The CEO's of all three auto manufacturers should resign as well as the CEO's of the major banks, brokerage houses, and Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Sallie Mae.

    These disasters happened during their tenure as head of these companies.

    March 29, 2009 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  15. Kathie

    where is my comment???? Its no longer "In moderation" and not printed... What gives CNN????? Oh, that's right, I've been blacklisted....

    March 29, 2009 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  16. Bill

    Now that the government is the auto industry's creditor, I guess the president can tell them all where to go now.

    March 29, 2009 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  17. DA

    The smart thing to do. Make sure to make that golden parachute null and void before he leaves, don't want him leaving with millions!!!

    March 29, 2009 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  18. mb-texas

    The auto makers should take a deep breath and get to work planning
    to get financing and cars that are affordable to the average when
    you have to pay 4 or 5 hundred dpllars per month they have priced
    theirselves into this problem.Shame that this person is the only big wheel that has been asked to stepdown.CEO's of the large companies draw large salaries and bonuses.In these they should
    fore go bonus money and give more to the lower employee.

    March 29, 2009 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  19. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    The rest of the senior management should go with him.

    March 29, 2009 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  20. John

    Well it's about time that one of the conditions for a company to get our money is for the person who was responsible for running the company into the ground has to lose his job.

    March 29, 2009 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  21. kid minneapolis

    I love how Obama can just 'get rid' of these dolts that stand in the way of progress. Rick W could never lead chrysler into a new era. So he's out.

    This is what really scares repubs so much: The age of the moron is over.

    March 29, 2009 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  22. pelli

    Can't wait to hear about his golden parachute.....

    March 29, 2009 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  23. jennifer

    Great, now I really will consider buying a GM car to replace my ford. I was determined never to buy GM with RW in control.

    March 29, 2009 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  24. barking dogs

    I feel bad for the men and women who worked for this bum.

    March 29, 2009 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  25. Ann

    Why don't we construct a roundtable discussion about which direction the U.S. economy should be going? Less reliance on oil, fewer oil-sucking cars, greener technology... why does this leave the automobile industry high and dry?
    We need to get back to basics, and forget about growing fast, before we forget about key people we should include in this time of restructuring. The time to act is now – so lets do it right the first time!

    March 29, 2009 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
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