GM likely to tap outsider for next CEO, Lutz says

December 2, 2009

 

GM likely to tap outsider for next CEO, Lutz says

By TIM HIGGINS

FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER

LOS ANGELES — The next chief executive of General Motors will come from outside the company, a top executive said today.

Bob Lutz, GM vice chairman of marketing, said in an interview here

"If they had identified an internal candidate, they would have done it right away," he said of GM’s board of directors.

GM shocked the automotive industry on Tuesday with the announcement that Henderson had resigned and that

Asked what the board is looking for in a new CEO, Lutz said, "Clearly they would want the world’s best businessman with a deep automotive background, huge credibility, fast on his feet, charismatic personality, able to convince investors that they should invest in the stock when we go public and so forth."

Lutz said it was unlikely the board would turn to him as the next CEO "for age related reasons" and because his style of leadership is not the kind that corporate boards generally look for in CEOs. "Boards always want somebody who is very predictable, very calm, non-controversial, never says the wrong thing, can always be relied on not to embarrass the company in any situation, and that does not meet my physical or mental description," Lutz said.

on the floor of the LA Auto Show that Fritz Henderson’s replacement will "very definitely" be a GM outsider. GM Chairman Ed Whitacre was taking over as CEO while a search began for a new chief executive officer.

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