G.M. Chief Is Said to Be Resigning as U.S. Plan Nears

Mission Accomplished-running GM into the ground, deep into the ground
G.M. Chief Is Said to Be Resigning as U.S. Plan Nears http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/30/business/30auto.html?_r=1&hp
DETROIT ó The chairman and chief executive of General Motors, Rick Wagoner, is resigning, just as President Obama prepares to unveil his rescue plans on Monday for G.M. and the ailing American auto industry, a person close to the decision said Sunday.
The unexpected move by Mr. Wagoner, who has been at the helm of G.M. for eight years, was not confirmed by the company. But a statement about Mr. Wagonerís future will be issued after the presidentís address.
G.M. and Chrysler are on the verge of exhausting the $17.4 billion in federal loans given to them since December. G.M. has asked for up to $16.6 billion more, and Chrysler another $5 billion.
The presidentís auto task force is expected to recommend more short-term assistance to the two Detroit companies, but with tight strings attached to the money and a new deadline to get concessions from union workers and creditors.
There was no indication yet who would take over the top job at General Motors. As recently as March 18, Mr. Wagoner said in an interview that he had no indication that his job was in jeopardy because of the task force.
Speaking Sunday morning on the CBS program ďFace the Nation,Ē President Obama stressed that he intended to maintain an American auto industry.
ďBut itís got to be one thatís realistically designed to weather this storm, and to emerge at the other end much more lean, mean and competitive than it currently is,Ē he said. ďAnd thatís going to mean a set of sacrifices from all parties involved ó management, labor, shareholders, creditors, suppliers, dealers. Everybody is going to have to come to the table and say itís important for us to take serious restructuring steps now, in order to preserve a brighter future down the road.Ē
The findings of the presidentís task force on the auto industry, expected on Monday, are expected to back increasing short-term aid to the two weakest of the Big Three automakers, General Motors and Chrysler, in return for concessions that would help the ailing companies become viable and avert bankruptcy.
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