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Michael Millikin, General Motors Co. (GM)’s top lawyer, will retire next year. The general counsel had been criticized after an investigation blamed his department for the company’s slow response to a fatal defect in small cars.

The company will immediately begin an external search for someone to replace Millikin, who will stay through the transition to a successor. The 66-year-old joined the Detroit-based automaker in 1977 and was appointed general counsel in 2009.

GM Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra fired 15 people earlier this year after an internal investigation determined that lawyers and engineers didn’t respond quickly enough to evidence of vehicle defects now linked to 27 deaths. Millikin, who appeared with Barra before a Senate panel in July, approached GM to say he wanted to retire, said a person familiar with the matter.

“There were many who called for him to be let go with the other attorneys who were dismissed and clearly Mary Barra had faith in him and kept him on,” said Michelle Krebs, senior analyst at Autotrader.com. “It’s time for some fresh blood there, for sure. They need fresh eyes in the way they do things.”

Delayed Action

Barra has said that GM engineers and lawyers delayed action for more than a decade and failed to report issues to their superiors that may have saved lives if defective ignition switches had been replaced sooner. A report commissioned by GM from former U.S. prosecutor Anton Valukas found that lawyers aware of the fatal defects didn’t act with urgency.

The report also said GM lawyers told employees to avoid using negative words in their communications that might attract legal scrutiny. Millikin and Barra were cleared of wrongdoing in the report.

“Mike has had a tremendous career, spanning more than 40 years, with the vast majority of it at GM,” Barra said today in a statement. “He has led global legal teams through incredibly complex transactions, been a trusted and respected confidant to senior management, and even led the company’s global business response team following the tragedy of 9/11.”

Millikin leaves with unanswered questions about his role in the culture where his people failed to relay important matters and stifled internal communication, said Erik Gordon, a professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business in Ann Arbor, whose area of interest includes corporate governance.

Continued:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-...sel-criticized-for-slow-recall-to-retire.html
 

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Funny thing is the amount and magnitude of recalls from all automakers has increased a lot as of late. Seems that any automaker with skeletons in the closet are getting out in front of the issue or maybe the NHTSA has found its soccer balls. Yet only GM is in the news constantly. Honda, Ford, Toyota just type recall and you will find thousands of cars from all automakers yet GM is headline news. Someone hates America.
 

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Funny thing is the amount and magnitude of recalls from all automakers has increased a lot as of late. Seems that any automaker with skeletons in the closet are getting out in front of the issue or maybe the NHTSA has found its soccer balls. Yet only GM is in the news constantly. Honda, Ford, Toyota just type recall and you will find thousands of cars from all automakers yet GM is headline news. Someone hates America.
or the case of GM intentionally hiding it and getting caught
Toyota was in the NEWS a lot a few years ago but that story was LESS "juicy" then GM's one as Toyota never claimed to have made intentional choices but ONLY had internal communication issues
 

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or the case of GM intentionally hiding it and getting caught
Toyota was in the NEWS a lot a few years ago but that story was LESS "juicy" then GM's one as Toyota never claimed to have made intentional choices but ONLY had internal communication issues
That is the PC bs im talking about. Marry Barra admitted the wrong doing and investigated her own company put up with congressional hearings. Toyota never admitted there was a problem they even had nasa check their cpu/ecu throttle control electronics to find the issues. They never once said, "I did it, Sorry". GM is being held to a much higher standard here. I do not recall congressional hearings for any of the Banks who effed the system either and they did much more damage than any gm ignition switch.
 

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MM has been a disaster for GM. He can't leave soon enough. I just hope he is not retained as a "consultant."
On the recall issue the GM recall flood has provided cover to all manufacturers to issue recalls on anything remotely an issue. They all discovered that it had the unintended effect of generating showroom traffic and vehicle sales.
 

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Here a rant from PDL AE "On the table" http://www.autoextremist.com/on-the-table1/

Editor-in-Chief's Note: Michael Millikin, GM's chief counsel, abruptly announced his retirement last week, a move that surprised no one if you've been following the whole GM ignition interlock recall fiasco. Millikin, vilified by various U.S. Senators at the infamous Congressional hearings early this past summer after it was discovered that the GM legal staff had been aware of the ignition problem for years before GM bothered to do anything about it - and vigorously defended by Mary Barra with a misplaced sense of loyalty that was beyond painful to watch - is exiting the company at a most opportune time, from his perspective, but it may not be enough for him to escape further ramifications still brewing from the legal fallout of the GM recall. Millikin's heavy-handed conduct was legendary inside GM, and his legal troops at times were feared and loathed because of his orchestrations. Millikin made it his business to know all about the inner workings of GM, so his "Sergeant Schultz Defense," as in "I know nothing," rang hollow, at the very least. I said all there is to say about the situation in my column entitled, "MARY BARRA’S MISPLACED SENSE OF LOYALTY WILL COST HER," from last July, so I won't bother to add to it now, except for the fact that Ms. Barra was still defending Millikin in the press release announcing his departure, which was nonsensical, unnecessary and flat-out uncalled for. Oh well, GM careens around with a level of inertia that is still shocking to behold, and every time Ms. Barra fails to distance herself from the "old" GM "culture" that she regularly decries - as in this case - she looks bad. As in, WTF? Mary, give it a rest. - PMD
 

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or the case of GM intentionally hiding it and getting caught
Toyota was in the NEWS a lot a few years ago but that story was LESS "juicy" then GM's one as Toyota never claimed to have made intentional choices but ONLY had internal communication issues
Now Honda and their supplier, Takata, are in the news and this one looks pretty bad, affects a huge number of mfrs. and models:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/21/b...r-bags-prompts-urgent-warning-to-drivers.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/12/business/air-bag-flaw-long-known-led-to-recalls.html
 

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If by more time with his family you mean bent over a trough in a run down warehouse down south, 2 guys standing behind him, one with a bat, the other with a knife, I agree.
 

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I don't think Total Recall Motors has to look far for a replacement - I know another incompetent know it all lawyer who could step in and immediately do the bang up job that Millwhatever did - and with his popularity going through the manhole covers of his Presidency, he will also relish being the most brilliant person in the company he founded. Barack Hussein Obama.
 

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...put up with congressional hearings...
Put up with? When you make mistakes you don't get the choice. They didn't 'put up with' the hearings because they wanted to be upstanding corporate citizens. They did it because there was due cause to investigate them. I don't know why there weren't congressional hearings on Toyota (or other manufacturers), or if there should have been, but that has no bearing on the GM case.
 

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This was going to happen recall or no. Barra was going to fundamentally change the company regardless so most of the old leadership will leave soon enough anyway.
 
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