Welcome to the archives for NewsTalk, an IBJ blog published from November 2007 through December 2010.

Questions about Detroit's bench

December 8, 2008
Politicians are about to step in for directors and force sweeping changes on the Detroit car companies, judging from the direction of talks in Congress.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd yesterday called for the firing of General Motors chief Rick Wagoner and said privately held Chrysler should merge.

Dodd isnâ??t alone in suggesting top managers drove the companies into the ground. But his comments raise additional questions about the depth of the companiesâ?? bench strength.

If C-level managers and even directors were to be replaced, how strong are the professionals â?? the engineers, designers, marketers, accountants â?? who would still be in their cubes and offices? In other words, as the companies lost market share and prestige over the past 30 years, did they attract college graduates who can hold their own in one of the most competitive industries in the world? Or have the Detroit Three been populated with people who wonâ??t be able to contribute to turnarounds no matter who leads them?

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