Wagoner resigns from G.M.

Richard Wagoner, Trinity '75 and vice chair of the Board of Trustees, resigned from his position as chair and chief executive officer of General Motors Corp. Sunday, The New York Times reported.

G.M. has not commented on Wagoner's resignation, but a statement concerning his future is expected following President Barack Obama's likely announcement Monday evening of a rescue plan for the automobile industry, according to The Times. Wagoner was asked to resign as part of the company's restructuring program, an Obama administration official told The Times.

Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs and government relations, said Wagoner's expected resignation would not impact his position on the Board of Trustees. Wagoner has been a member of the Board of Trustees since 2001, and his current term expires in 2013. He was also the keynote speaker for Commencement in 2007.

"Rick Wagoner has been tireless in his work as a member of the Board of Trustees and in his commitment to Duke at the same time he was dealing with the massive challenges at G.M.," Schoenfeld wrote in an e-mail. "We look forward to his continued service to Duke for a long time to come. This will not affect his role as vice chairman of the Board."

Wagoner has held his position as CEO of General Motors since 2000; he also served as president from 2000 to 2003 and has been chair since 2003. His company was one of the Big Three automobile corporations hit hard by the economic downturn, and Wagoner spearheaded efforts in late 2008 to secure federal aid for the struggling industry. G.M. announced in March 2009 that company sales had dropped 53 percent in one year. The company has received $13.4 billion in federal loans and had requested an additional $16.6 billion in loans in February.

Despite criticism of his leadership from members of Congress, Wagoner had maintained that a switch in management would be detrimental to the company.


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