Few at GM will admit it in the open. Heck, they don't even like to talk about it. But make no mistake, GM is moving to have an initial public offering. It's still too early to project when it will be, but I have little doubt it will happen this year.
The skeptics and critics of GM will say these guys are racing to go public and haven't truly fixed GM. They say the culture at the automaker is only slightly better under Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre Jr.
The naysayers like to point out that many of the executives at GM came up under former CEO's Rick Wagoner and Fritz Henderson, so to the critics GM is still a flawed company.
I've been listening to this for the last year and have come to the conclusion a lot of these critics need to get a clue. GM is a far different company in the executive ranks with a far different vision of what GM should and should not be.
Whitacre, along with Vice Chair Steve Girsky, CFO Chris Liddell, and North American President Mark Reuss have re-shaped GM to be more focused on core brands and developing winning cars and trucks. That last part will take time, but the closure or sale of Hummer, Saab, Pontiac, and Saturn helps the company zero in on what it needs to do to win.
It's easy to say GM should win after getting tens of billions of dollars from the feds. This logic baffles me. It makes it sound like Whitacre and his team have done nothing while the bailout and financing alone would have been enough to save the company.
In reality, GM needed to go through the wake-up call of bankruptcy. It has forced the rank and file, along with middle management to realize they needed to move faster and with a renewed purpose. They're not where they need to be yet, but you can see GM getting there.
Going public quickly should be a goal for GM. The sooner that happens, the sooner Uncle Sam can start unwinding its stake in the company and the sooner GM will feel the pressure from shareholders to perform.
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