Wagoner Stepped Down at Treasury's Request
Fritz Henderson, chief executive of General Motors, said in court testimony today that his predecessor, Rick Wagoner, stepped down at the request of the U.S. Treasury Department. Describing the circumstances leading up Wagoner's resignation, Henderson said GM executives were summoned to Washington by the Obama administration's auto task force on Friday, March 27.
Before the meeting, Henderson said, Steve Rattner, the head of the auto task force, asked for a one-on-one meeting with Wagoner.
In that meeting, Rattner asked Wagoner to step down as chairman and chief executive.
Over the weekend, after telephone calls with GM board members, Wagoner left his post.
When questioned by Harvey Miller, a lawyer representing GM, Henderson said Wagoner had stepped down at the "suggestion" of the U.S. Treasury.
Henderson is the first witness to take the stand in the automaker's bankruptcy proceeding.
Just 29 days after filing the biggest bankruptcy case ever by a U.S. industrial company, GM is before a federal judge today to seek approval for the sale of its assets to a new and leaner government-run GM.
Hundreds of objections have been filed by bondholders, tort claimants, local governments, state attorneys general and other stakeholders who oppose certain aspects of the sale.
Several of the groups have gathered in front of the Lower Manhattan courthouse to protest.
--Tomoeh Murakami Tse
June 30, 2009; 12:02 PM ET
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