GM Boss: We Will Be Profitable in 2010
Whitacre says Chris Liddell an obvious candidate to replace him
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 7, 2010 7:37 AM CST
General Motors' Chairman and interim CEO Ed Whitacre Jr. speaks at a news conference in Detroit, Dec. 1, 2009.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, file)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Interim GM CEO Edward Whitacre stuck his neck out yesterday, boldly predicting the company taxpayers bailed out last year would turn a profit this year for the first time since 2004. “My prediction is we will be” profitable, he told reporters. “Do we have obstacles in the way? Yes. But we have a good management team and a good plan in place.” Good news, since the US can't sell the 60% stake it got for its $50 billion infusion until GM is strong enough to return to the public stock market.

Whitacre also said that former Microsoft exec Chris Liddell, who recently became GM's CFO, was “of course” in the running to replace him, though “that’s up to the board.” Whitacre’s profit prediction would put GM ahead of Ford and Chrysler, which expect to make money by 2011, but analysts don't think it's outlandish. “GM has been in restructuring mode,” one tells the Wall Street Journal. “You can’t underestimate the overhead that has been taken out.”