It was President Obama who reached out to Ed Whitacre to come out of retirement and take over GM in 2009. A down-to-earth, no-nonsense Texas native with a distinctive Texas twang in his voice, Whitacre was reluctant to come out of retirement to work at GM.
But Whitacre is that rare CEO with great charisma and extraordinary management instincts. And when he got to Detroit, he started to whittle down the corporate bureaucracy right away - and got GM back on track in record time
Before being pulled out of retirement to run GM by Obama, Ed Whitacre had spent his entire corporate career in the telecom business, where he ultimately ended up running AT&T.
- ISBN-13: 9781455513017
- ISBN-10: 1455513016
- Publisher: Business Plus
- Publish Date: February 2013
- Page Count: 289
- Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.5 x 1.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-10-15
- Reviewer: Staff
An inspiring memoir from the laconic CEO and chairman of AT&T and GM. Whitacre spent 44 years at AT&T, starting as a student engineer in the early 1960s at what was then Southwestern Bell and eventually leading the company. His time there was rewarding, exciting, and beneficial for the company: he oversaw the original iPhone contract, implemented budget-saving, cost-cutting measures, and did away with executive privilege. He also made good but less popular decisions such as moving Southwestern Bell from St. Louis to his native Texas. After spending just two years getting accustomed to retirement, Whitacre was asked by the White House to take over the sinking GM. He agreed, intending to be quickly in and out, but instead ended up shepherding the company through the launch of the Volt and a highly successful IPO. The Obama administration approved of his success, and he finally stepped down, handing GM over to a new CEO. Whitacre characterizes himself as a “private man by nature,” but wrote the book to “thank and publicly acknowledge” the people who helped him throughout his career. In what is basically a vanity project, albeit a sweet one, Whitacre describes his philosophy, management style, and business principles, all of which are interesting, but not particularly novel. Agent: Joe Veltri, Gersh Agency. (Feb.)