Michael O’Hare on Executives

And what to do with them.

But what about the talent part? On the whole, this indispensable leadership and insight has made a smoking ruin of every company they were allowed to play with! Let’s take Bob Lutz, the vice-Chairman of General Motors. In the Jan. 31 Economist, we find him saying GM held on to SAAB for nineteen unprofitable years out of twenty, for a $5 billion loss, selling car after car at a loss of $5K each because … wait for it … “it loved the marque and the cars.”

I had to read it again: they flushed five billion dollars of their shareholders’ money down the toilet for the personal amusement of the executives, and went on doing it for two decades. More amazing still, Lutz is dumb enough, or arrogant enough, or both to tell exactly that story to a reporter. Most amazing, he seems to still be vice-Chairman!

Read the rest, it’s pitchfork-ready.

This entry was posted in A Fistful Of Euros, Economics and demography, Europe and the world, Vampires by Doug Merrill. Bookmark the permalink.

About Doug Merrill

Freelance journalist based in Tbilisi, following stints in Atlanta, Budapest, Munich, Warsaw and Washington. Worked for a German think tank, discovered it was incompatible with repaying US student loans. Spent two years in financial markets. Bicycled from Vilnius to Tallinn. Climbed highest mountains in two Alpine countries (the easy ones, though). American center-left, with strong yellow dog tendencies. Arrived in the Caucasus two weeks before its latest war.

2 thoughts on “Michael O’Hare on Executives

  1. There is a joke in the company: “What is a difference between a manager and an engineer?”
    From the point of view of the manager, an order of magnitude in the pay; from the point of view of the engineer, a lobotomy.

    I remember we used to make fun of the practices of creating accounting at least 5 years before the Exxon(and others) affair blew up. We made even more fun of the fact that nobody knew about
    these practices then!

    Seriously though, I think any technical person with common sense and a broad view of operations
    is much more qualified by any specially bred executive.

  2. You can bet everything you have the Swedish operation was profitable, else they would have sold or closed it. The loss is merely moving profits from high-tax countries (such as Sweden) to low-tax countries; standard practice for a multinational.

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