Friday, July 18, 2014

Senators urge Barra to fire GM’s corporate counsel.

The AP (7/18, Gordon, Durbin) reports that as a Senate subcommittee “delved deeper into GM’s mishandling of the recall of small cars with defective ignition switches,” lawmakers demanded that CEO Mary Barra fire the company’s “chief lawyer and open its compensation plan to more potential victims.” Subcommittee Chair Claire McCaskill praised Barra, “saying she ‘has stepped up, and with courage and conviction has confronted the problem head on and the corporate culture that caused it,’” but also put her “on the spot, telling the CEO that she should have fired GM’s corporate counsel, Michael Millikin, based on the conclusions of an internal report by outside attorney Anton Valukas. Millikin sat next to Barra as she defended him as a man of ‘tremendously high integrity.’”
        The New York Times (7/18, Vlasic, Kessler, Subscription Publication, 9.79M) reports that Millikin “came under withering attack from senators” during the hearing, adding that several senators “also focused on how forthright G.M. was in its disclosures with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.” The Wall Street Journal (7/18, Bennett, Hughes, Subscription Publication, 5.89M) reports that Barra stood by Millikin amid questions from senators about how she intends to change GM’s corporate culture without firing him. 

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