Careful What You Wish For: GM Management’s Payback to Obama and the UAW?

April 30, 2009 - by: Dan Oswald 0 COMMENTS

I read Tuesday that General Motors Corporation outlined a new plan that would give the U.S. government a controlling stake in the company. In addition, GM said it would use stock to pay off half of the amount it owes the United Auto Workers (UAW) to cover retiree benefits.

I checked my calendar. It wasn’t April Fools Day. So I’ve reached the conclusion that this is either a sick joke or an incredibly clever plan dreamed up by GM’s management in order to poke back at the Obama administration, which forced out GM’s CEO earlier this year while also getting in a shot at the UAW.

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Dazed and Confused in an ‘Uncertain Economy’

April 17, 2009 - by: Dan Oswald 1 COMMENTS

I’m in the process of writing my Q1 report for our board of directors and I’m trying to come up with the appropriate adjective to describe the current economic environment and explain its impact on our business.

As I searched for the right adjective to describe the business climate we’re facing I first considered “challenging.” How often have we read or hear a sentence begin with “In these challenging economic times…”? And while I would agree that they are indeed challenging, I’m pretty sure it’s not the best word.

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Do Shareholder Rights Matter to Obama?

April 07, 2009 - by: Dan Oswald 11 COMMENTS

I was amazed when I first learned that the Obama administration had requested the resignation of GM CEO Rick Wagoner. After thinking about it for a few minutes, I became dismayed.

Did Rick Wagoner deserve to lose his job? I don’t know. But I do know that it is not the role of government to call for the job of the chief executive of a public company. Public companies are typically run by an executive. That executive is hired by and answers to a board of directors. The board of directors is elected by the shareholders, and the board is responsible for ensuring that the company is run in the best interests of the shareholder owners. Nowhere in this chain of command do I see the federal government!

I can hear people screaming now, “But GM was asking for a bailout from the Federal government. That gives them the right to pick the CEO.” I disagree. The shareholders are still the owners of GM, and they should get to pick who runs their company. The government can choose whether or not the company is deserving of the bailout based on a number of factors including who is running the company. But when they force the resignation of the chief executive, they’re taking away the power and authority of the current owners, and that’s not right.

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Insights from the C-Suite

March 27, 2009 - by: Dan Oswald 0 COMMENTS

I’m Dan Oswald, president and publisher of M. Lee Smith Publishers, and the newest blogger on the Employment Law Post. My first posts appeared on the Human Resources News blog. Here’s a list of those posts.

The Time for Bold Action

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