Former General Motors CEO Ed Whitacre has served up a few revelations about his time at the automaker in his new memoir, American Turnaround: Reinventing AT&T and GM and the Way We Do Business in the USA. Among the choice tidbits is word that in August of 2009, Whitacre says he blocked a plan that would have seen GM workers abandon their downtown Detroit Renaissance Center global headquarters just one week before the move was to be set in action.
The whole operation was to be relocated to Warren, which would have allowed GM to either lease or sell the Ren Cen outright. Oddly enough, GM apparently planned to keep the company’s CEO and a few others on the premises, which would have put management some 30 minutes away from the rest of the company.
Whitacre says the move would have cost around $100 million to implement. The city of Detroit eventually offered GM substantial tax incentives to stay put, and the automaker announced its plans to stay in the Ren Cen in August of 2010.
The memoir also touches on Whitacre’s successor, Dan Akerson. Whitacre says Akerson called GM “one of the worst companies he’d come across in his entire life” and notes that he admitted he didn’t like GM vehicles.