Printer Friendly

GM boss asked to leave by Obama BACKSWE Predict.

Byline: Rupert Denholm-Hall Business Reporter rupert.denholm-hall@walesonline.co.uk

RICK WAGONER, the man the White House asked to leave General Motors (GM), is backing a Swansea analytics firm.

The 62-year-old was formerly chief executive of GM but stepped down at the request of the Obama administration after the market valuation of the business dropped by more than 90% and the company lost more than $80bn.

Now Mr Wagoner is part of a PS1m funding round for predictive analytics business We Predict, which employs 25 people in Swansea.

We Predict was founded in 2009 by James Davies and claims to turn big data and small data into actionable insights for some of the world's largest companies.

Mr Davies refused to comment on Mr Wagoner's employment history but confirmed the ex-GM chief executive is taking an equity stake in the Swansea firm.

He said: "We have no comment to make about his previous role."

Tony Cervone, senior vice president of Global Communications at General Motors, confirmed Mr Wagoner left the business in Spring 2009.

On the issue of why Mr Wagoner left the company Mr Cervone said: "He was asked to by the Obama administration."

In a Wall Street Journal article in 2011 Mr Wagoner was named as GM's youngest ever chief financial officer at the age of 39. He later became one of the highest-profile CEOs in the world and the face of Detroit.

Mr Wagoner is also credited for keeping car sales going after the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001. However, the business racked up losses in the mid-2000s and by 2009 GM pleaded for a government bailout.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Mr Wagoner told President Barack Obama's automotive task force that he would step down if it meant saving GM. He resigned in March of that year.

In an official statement on the investment in We Predict, Mr Davies said: "Rick is a fantastic addition to the team, and he will play a big role in helping us establish our presence in the US market.

"We hired a fantastically experienced US sales team in January and we are already making early inroads.

"We significantly reduce the amount of time it takes manufacturers to detect quality issues by analysing all of their parts, all of the time, and there are billions of savings up for grabs."

In the statement, Mr Wagoner said: "James and the team at We Predict have an opportunity to significantly improve product safety and quality with their innovative predictive analytics service.

"I am really looking forward to working with them and supporting their growth in the auto and other sectors."

A spokesman for the business said: "We are just completing an approximately PS1m round that includes Mr Wagoner.

"We are in initial discussions with US-based venture capitalists for a significant Series A round in the summer to take our predictive analytics as a service business model to new geographies and markets. In the manufacturing sector alone we see an opportunity to create a billion dollar company.

"We moved the business to Swansea from London as from our experience of Swansea University we knew there was talent in the area that had the mathematical, statistical and computer science skills that we needed.

"We were sure we could build a team that we could keep together and grow if we provided the right environment."

CAPTION(S):

Rick Wagoner, GM's youngest ever chief financial officer, became one of the world's highest-profile CEOs <B
COPYRIGHT 2015 MGN Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2015 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 12, 2015
Words:578
Previous Article:Cross-party NHS commission proposal collapses.
Next Article:Fall in new homes for sale.
Topics:

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters