Update #2 March-29-2009 2120 PDT:
GM has published an official message from Rick Wagoner:
"On Friday I was in Washington for a meeting with Administration officials. In the course of that meeting, they requested that I “step aside” as CEO of GM, and so I have.
"Fritz Henderson is an excellent choice to be the next CEO of GM. Having worked closely with Fritz for many years, I know that he is the ideal person to lead the company through the completion of our restructuring efforts. His knowledge of the global industry and the company are exceptional, and he has the intellect, energy, and support among GM’ers worldwide to succeed. I wish him well, and I stand ready to support him, and interim Non-Executive Chairman Kent Kresa, in every way possible.
"I also want to extend my sincerest thanks to everyone who supported GM and me during my time as CEO. I deeply appreciate the excellent counsel and commitment of the GM Board and the strong support of our many partners including our terrific dealers, suppliers, and community leaders. I am grateful as well to the union leaders with whom I have had the chance to work closely to implement numerous tough but necessary restructuring agreements.
"Most important of all I want to express my deepest appreciation to the extraordinary team of GM employees around the world. You have been a tremendous source of inspiration and pride to me, and I will be forever grateful for the courage and commitment you have shown as we have confronted the unprecedented challenges of the past few years. GM is a great company with a storied history. Ignore the doubters because I know it is also a company with a great future.
Update #1 March-29-2009 1900 PDT:
President Barack Obama's auto task force just finished a backgrounder conference call. General Motors CEO Wagoner will be replaced, at least in the short term, by GM chief operating officer Fritz Henderson.
According to the Associated Press, Rick Wagoner is stepping down immediately as CEO of General Motors, at the request of the Obama administration.
The news comes as the president's automotive task force is set to announce on Monday the latest federal government bailout terms for GM and Chrysler to receive additional financing to stave off bankruptcy. The companies have been loaned $17.4 billion in aid and have requested $21.6 billion more.
Wagoner joined GM in 1977 and became CEO in 2000. He has been chairman and chief executive since 2003.
GM's chief operating officer, Fritz Henderson, appears most likely to succeed Wagoner as CEO. More information is expected by tomorrow in an official announcement from GM.
[Source: Associated Press]