I was completely stunned by the WSJ headline this morning that announced Bob Nardelli, formerly of GE and Home Depot, is going to be CEO at Chrysler. Many of the actual industry experts were stunned too, so don't feel too bad if you're in the stunned crowd, like me.
I've written about his management misadventures before, see the links below.
From the WSJ:
- Cerberus, the private equity firm that runs Chrysler, is full of ex-GE people. That must explain how Bob gets another shot here.
- The WSJ says “lean management” is a Six Sigma tool (ugh).
Nardelli was famous for, among other things, his $210m severance package. Why work, ever again? I guess a little ego goes a long way.
Good luck to the folks at Chrysler. Remember the quote from January criticizing Nardelli was “you can't sh** on your employees.” He also sh** on the investors, but he doesn't have to deal with public stockholders at Chrysler, so maybe this is perfect for Bob.
Tom LaSorda, featured here for his support of Lean, will be Nardelli's #2.
Updated with additional articles:
For what it's worth, CNBC's Jim Cramer thinks Cerberus is “out of touch” and there couldn't have been a worse pick than Nardelli. “Couldn't they get someone better? Maybe they couldn't…”
The NY Times says he's no longer “tainted.” Really?
USA Today has an unflattering article that calls him an “imperial CEO” and had a funny quote from Lee Iacocca that implied it was a bad choice in his eyes.
Former Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca, watching the saga from retirement in California, said, “I'm shocked, and I'm going for a walk on the beach,” according to his spokeswoman, Norma Saken. “He's as stunned as anybody.”
Ken Siegel, an organizational psychologist who tracked Nardelli's path at Home Depot, called the choice “unfathomable,” “stupefying” and “a supreme statement of arrogance” by Cerberus.
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