GM hired Hackett to cut white-collar jobs

Article by Christian A., on December 23, 2011

Management consultant Hackett Group has recently been hired by General Motors Co. to help in spotting ways to reduce its number of white-collar jobs, according to two insiders. However, just how much will be cut has yet to be determined. The Miami-based Hackett Group will assist in finding out what to do in order to achieve cuts and improvements in efficiency at its headquarters as well as other parts in North America.

GM spokesman Jay Cooney said that GM has been reducing its number of engineers and other white-collar staff members. However, he will not confirm if Hackett Group has been hired. In the past few months, GM CEO Dan Akerson has been lessening costs so that it could boost its margins. GM has set a target to surpass Ford Motor Co.'s predicted earnings before interest and taxes of 7 percent of sales and target.

Notably, Hyundai Motor Co. anticipates a 10 percent figure. Cooney explained that GM won’t utilize mass cuts or buyouts as it did before it entered bankruptcy proceedings in 2009. He said that the company is “streamlining” its business and aiming to be more efficient.

That is why it has plans to reduce its workforce globally. He added that GM continues to find methods to enhance its operating performance and lessen its complexity to offer a world- class cost structure and profit margins. Hackett Group spokesman Gary Baker declined to comment if the company is working for GM.

GM had been posting annual losses even before the automotive suffered a hard crisis in 2008. In November 2008, GM said it might run out of cash around mid-2009 without a combination of government funding, a merger, or sales of assets.

On June 1, 2009, General Motors Corp. and certain subsidiaries filed voluntary petitions for relief under chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. On June 5, 2009, the court approved the sale of substantially all of its assets to a new and independent company -- NGMCO Inc.

When the sale was completed on July 10, 2009, NGMCO changed its name to General Motors Company. General Motors Corp. also changed its name to Motors Liquidation Company (old GM), which would continue the bankruptcy proceedings to settle with its bondholders and on other liabilities.

This new GM – General Motors Co. – was initially owned by a number of shareholders, including the old GM (10 percent). The biggest chunk went to the US government through the US Department of Treasury, at 60.8 percent while the Canada and Ontario governments took a stake of 11.7 percent. The UAW retiree medical benefit trust (VEBA) acquired a stake of 17.5 percent.

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