No car experience is necessary to take a top spot at the bankrupt icon of Detroit’s automobile industry. Believe it or not, the newly appointed chairman of GM, Edward Whitacre, Jr., has zero experience with cars — and he’s okay with that. According to Bloomberg:
“I don’t know anything about cars,” Whitacre, 67, said yesterday in an interview after his appointment. “A business is a business, and I think I can learn about cars. I’m not that old, and I think the business principles are the same.”
Business principles may be universal, but it must come as a shock for some to hear that a key figure in charge of building the new GM is vowing to “learn about cars.” GM and Detroit have long been criticized for being out of touch with the latest in automobile design, and for failing to anticipate industry trends.
Whitacre, formerly the CEO of AT&T, is certainly a top-notch executive. But his appointment is certain to raise some eyebrows. Besides claiming that they plan to jettison several brands during the bankruptcy process, GM has said little about how the restructured automaker will reinvigorate its R&D and engineering departments.