GM CEO Akerson Responds to Criticism

Akerson photoGeneral Motors CEO & Chairman Dan Akerson has an op-ed in yesterday’s Detroit Free Press in response to the growing chorus of criticism of the company in general, and his leadership in particular.  It is rather typical corporate PR, complete with a Teddy Roosevelt quote.

One line is odd, though. Akerson (or his flak) writes:

I believe our culture is our “secret weapon” and is on the way to being a true difference maker for us.

So, how is GM’s culture,  according to Akerson?

A few days ago, Akerson had “expressed his continued frustration with the company’s inability to quickly shed its bureaucratic legacy,” saying “We’ve got to get this company and the culture into the 21st Century.”

Last month, Akerson was asked, “How much of GM’s culture has changed since before bankruptcy, on a scale of one to 100,” and he responded: “20, 25. We have a long, long way to go.”

In 2011, Akerson said his successor “will have to carry on a cultural revolution here,” adding, “It’s just like the Communist party in China in the 1960s: There has to be a cultural revolution here.”

If GM’s culture is its “secret weapon,” maybe Akerson should keep it secret.