Ed Whitacre is credited with taking over the corporate reins at General Motors (GM) when the automotive manufacturer was on the brink of bankruptcy during 2009 and turned the company around in magnificent fashion. In this business memoir, the native Texan explores his unique management style, business acumen, and patriotism.
It was President Obama who reached out to Ed Whitacre to come out of retirement and take over GM in 2009. A down-to-earth, no-nonsense Texas native with a distinctive Texas twang in his voice, Whitacre was reluctant to come out of retirement to work at GM.
But Whitacre is that rare CEO with great charisma and extraordinary management instincts. And when he got to Detroit, he started to whittle down the corporate bureaucracy right away - and got GM back on track in record time
Before being pulled out of retirement to run GM by Obama, Ed Whitacre had spent his entire corporate career in the telecom business, where he ultimately ended up running AT&T.
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©2013 Edward Whitacre (P)2013 Hachette Audio
I was completely surprised by this book, it is great listen. I was sorry when it ended.
Having worked in the Telecommunications industry for 10 years, I had a completely different opinion of Edward Whitacre. I thought he was ruthlessly and egomaniacal. I got this opinion during the work that I did for competitors and eventual takeover targets of SBC, including the old AT&T and AT&T wireless.
By listening to the book, instead what I learned is that he is true leader, not afraid to get into the details when required, and able to make tough calls. I found his logic on potential SBC acquisitions especially compelling: Calling one target, AT&T wireless, beach front property that would not be on the market again, so they had to pay whatever it took.
My only real disappointment, and clearly Ed’s: that he did not stay on longer at GM. I think it would have been great if he could have stayed as CEO for a few years.
This is well written and entertaining. You learn a lot about how to properly run a business from what he coveres. He goes deep into his successes and mistakes. In the end his point is that you have to stick to proper principals of good human behavior and deal with the outcome. In the end you will be better off.
There are very few business boks that I would read again and again since the content and lessons they contain are are timeless. This is one of those books. Ed Whitacre's writing of this book and his reading and inflections in this audio book, made it so enjoyable I did not want the book to end. Ed Whitacre describes the use of common sense and down to earth values in successfully running two of the world's most recognized companies. For me, it was a very refreshing book from many other business or leadership books that preach a formula for success in the dog eat dog world of business. As Ed says, it all boils down to people.
I am a young-executive with a voracious appetite for great stories. I read and listen constantly, and am very proud of my book collection.
I wanted much more detail, as based on the historical circumstances there could be much more learned from this case study. Mr. Whitacre is sincere of his love for America and the two companies, AT&T and GM, that he so importantly served. I wish he would have given better examples of the battles internally as he rose through (Southwestern Bell) AT&T and ultimately aided GM as the emerged from bankruptcy. In essence, Whitacre's style is to be a straight-talker and be a man of the people. I know there is much more to his management style, but unfortunately we don't learn that here. This is a very general analysis of his career, and I found it wanting.
This is still a good book, and I think it a "feel-good" analysis of the very public auto bailout.
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