General Motors Co. is expected to pay back about $8 billion in debt to the United States and Canada earlier than expected. CEO Ed Whitacre said that GM is also seen to go public in a way that would allow taxpayers to make a profit on the bailout.
GM's financial targets are certainly more aggressive than what it had previously announced.But then again, Whitacre is looking at the steady decline in market share and is now doing what he can to boost sales.
Whitacre took over as CEO last December when former CEO Fritz Henderson resigned due to pressure from the board. Whitacre recognized that being at the top is proving to be more difficult than he had expected, especially with the hurdles in reforming a bureaucratic corporate culture.
Whitacre said that after the company has gotten through several major disruptions, the responsibility of motivating people lies in his hands. He talked about the baggage that GM is carrying as well as the changes that he wants to implement. Last December,
Whitacre said that GM will pay back government loans extended to finance its restructuring in bankruptcy by June. Last Wednesday, Whitacre claimed that GM was going to beat that date, primarily because of the sustainable progress that the carmaker has been experiencing lately.
Whitacre spoke to business leaders in his home town of San Antonio and he revealed that for the first time in more than 10 years, GM has a "healthy, clean balance sheet."
He said that the company doesn't anymore have loads of debt. It also now has a cost structure that works. GM had received $50 billion of government financing to restructure in a bankruptcy managed by the U.S. Treasury, which remains a 61% owner of GM stock. [via autonews]