Posts for Tag: automobile

Remember the Sock Puppet? He's rolling with us now.

Ah, an icon of the great internet bubble of the late 1990's. Back in the day, nothing signaled that you "arrived" on the internet scene like a Super Bowl commercial. Start-ups plunged a good chunk of their funding into Super Bowl ads hoping for the exposure and eventually IPO to riches. One of these ill-fated companies was and their Sock Puppet. After blowing through about $300M of capital, went under in November of 2000, just under two years after it started. As part of the fire sale, BarNone, an online marketer specializing in auto finance and auto sales leads for less than stellar credit, became the new home of the sock puppet and coined the phrase "Everybody deserves a second chance!" as their slogan. For a time BarNone was doing quite well and then took a big hit (who didn't take a hit?) when the current recession hit full force in 2008-2009.

Fast forward to today, we are announcing that we have purchased the BarNone unit from First Advantage Corp. It's been an exhausting couple of months (I've taken a lot of flights to Baltimore and San Diego) but well worth it. We're getting a great brand in the auto dealer community plus a product that once the auto sector picks up again, will be poised for great success. Thanks to all the folks on the First Advantage team plus much thanks to the BarNone staff who continue to help us during the integration phase. We look forward to returning the Sock Puppet to its glory of yesteryear (minus the Super Bowl ads).

Obama dishes tough love ... GM's CEO asked to resigns

The Obama administration asked Rick Wagoner, the chairman and CEO of General Motors, to step down and he agreed, a White House official said.

You never want to relish when someone gets fired.  But don't cry for Rick Wagoner.  He made over $63 million during his career at GM, most of which came during his years as CEO (a little under $39 million).  When you realize that GM lost approximately $82 billion in the last four years of his tenure, it was obvious that new leadership was needed.  Interim chairman, Kent Kresa, also stated that most of the GM board of directors would be changed at the annual meeting in August.  Another good move seeing as how they kept on supporting Wagoner year after year while he presided over the meltdown of an American icon.  I don't know if the US auto industry can be saved, but it couldn't hurt to have some new blood running things.  I want to desparately support American made automobiles and if the stars are aligned, my next car will be American made.

Interesting opinion on the auto industry ... good intent, bad execution

Techcrunch has a guest post from Todd Dagres of Spark Capital. In it, he suggests that President Obama should get Steve Jobs to run a joint government bailed-out GM-Chrysler. Though I agree with the overall strategy of the article (firing the current auto execs and streamlining the product line), I don't think Steve Jobs is the best person to actually execute this. His other choices (should Steve not be available), John Chambers or Craig Barrett are somewhat more plausible, though not quite there.

It's a little simplistic to think that Steve can make everything he touches into gold. Though Steve has had great success at Apple and Pixar, the shear size of the auto companies dwarf even those two industry leaders. I think Steve could be a great product strategist for the auto industry, but I think it'll take someone with big industrial operational experience to execute on a new product vision. Maybe it's a tag team effort - Steve leading product development and someone like say, Jack Welch to run operations? I know Nardelli was a GE alum but I don't have much confidence in his ability to lead given his lackluster results at both Home Depot and Chrysler.  Perhaps the master can do better than the student.