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GM's Wagoner: Will He Stay Or Will He Go?

Monday, 8 Dec 2008 | 10:07 AM ET
Rick Wagoner
AP
Rick Wagoner

The drum beats calling for Rick Wagoner's head, or at least his job, are becoming louder. What started last week with critics and commentators saying any bailout should include new leadership at the Big 3, now has spread to political leaders saying it may be time for some of the auto leadership to change.

President-elect Barack Obama, on "Meet the Press", said the leadership may need to change. Senator Christopher Dodd went further, saying it may be time for GM CEO Rick Wagoner to go.

With political leaders close to finalizing a deal, perhaps by the end of today, it brings up the question of whether Wagoner can stay on as CEO of GM.

Unless the board is told that he must leave as part of any deal, Wagoner won't step down. He has solid support from the GM board, which thinks Wagoner is the most capable person to steer this company through a crisis.

    • CNBC Special Program Tonight: Saving GM

Yes, there will be some of you who read that and think, "What? Is the board nuts?" Fact is, the board looks at what Wagoner has done and where he wants to take company, and that's why it supports him.

Today on "Squawk Box", GM Vice Chair Bob Lutz said, "If it makes people feel better to replace the GM management team they will do it, but they will be hard pressed to find a team more qualified to run GM." His comment does bring up an interesting question: who would be better to run GM? More importantly, who would want to do it?

    • Sen. Chris Dodd Calls for GM CEO to Go

Yes, there are a slew of industry veterans who will be thrown out as possibilities, but how many would want to step in and run a company facing these restrictions?

Auto Bailout Conditions
Congress is inching closer to doling out billions to American's Big Three automakers, but not without conditions. CNBC's Phil LeBeau has the details.

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  • Phil LeBeau is a CNBC auto and airline industry reporter based in the Chicago bureau and editor of the Behind the Wheel section on CNBC.com.

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