GM calls a telephone repairman: Former AT&T CEO to serve as Chairman

GM has selected Ed Whitacre, the former CEO of AT&T (T), to run the car company's board. He will take over once the firm's assets have been sold to an entity which is being called the New GM. Why current chairman Kent Kresa won't get the job is anyone's guess. He stepped in during what might be called the federal government's hour of need.

The company's statement said Whitacre and Kresa, along with current board members Philip A. Laskawy, Kathryn V. Marinello, Erroll B. Davis, Jr., E. Neville Isdell and President and Chief Executive Officer Frederick A. Henderson, will serve as the nucleus of the New GM board, providing management oversight and a continuing commitment to transparency and world-class standards of corporate governance. None of these people would appear to have any special background to serve on the board of a turnaround.

To a large degree, it does not matter who GM has on it board. The firm is effectively controlled by the government. Taxpayers would be better off if the government had created a lottery to pick average citizens to oversee the No. 1 U.S. car company. At least the people who have put in the money would have some influence on how it will be spent.

Douglas A. McIntyre is an editor at 24/7 Wall St.

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