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William Maley

GM News: Don Butler Resigns From Cadillac

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William Maley

Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

August 5, 2013

Some surprising news coming from General Motors today. The Detroit Free Press reports that Cadillac's vice president of global strategic development, Don Butler resigned his post today. In a email, Butler explained that his departure is “a personal decision.”

“As I've told others, I just need to take a step back to recalibrate, reassess my priorities. I know it’s time for a change but I don't know what’s next. I'm trusting that God will provide,” Butler went onto to say.

Butler's exit comes at at an inopportune time for GM as it tries to capitalize on the recent success of Cadillac in the U.S. by expanding it to other regions. One key area is China where Cadillac wants to triple sales by 2015.

Cadillac spokesman David Caldwell says Butler's departure isn't 'house cleaning.'

“In fact Bob and other leaders asked him to stay on. Don's here in the office today — and told our team that his decision is purely on a personal level. After three years of putting everything into Cadillac, he is stepping away for some personal time, and to consider new avenues in his life,” Caldwell said.

Source: Detroit Free Press

William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.


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If he is not balancing personal and professional than one can burn out.

I suspect that this is personal for now but by early next year he will be at another auto company.

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These types of jobs suck a lot of one's energy and personality into them, so the 'personal reasons' argument is understandable... If there are other reasons beyond that, I don't know... Also don't know if it's Akerson, and in fact I have a growing suspicion that it's not Akerson blocking Cadillac from realizing its full potential; it's the remnants of Old GM thinking... Maybe Don Butler got tired of fighting Cadillac's fight in GM's corporate politics battleground? If that's the case, then I agree with dfelt that he'll re-emerge at another automaker soon.

EDIT - For sure Don Butler isn't the only person in the World right now thinking of how much a job can suck oneself into it and lose grasp of the parts of life that are really important...

Edited by ZL-1

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Yea, Right now I am having thoughts that it might be time to look around for another job. Leadership at my current place of employment has had a major turn over and things right now are not looking that great.

Too many new faces that have been promoted from other divisions that have no clue about the products we build and that unlike the rest of the company that is all hardware based, we are a software based solution of products and the whole Widget approach does not work with software.

The writting on the wall is when a new manager comes in, never takes time to talk to the staff and starts telling the team we are going to step up our game and people will be held accountable for fixing X amount of bugs a day, closing X amount of bugs a day, diagnostics on X amount of bugs a day and code X amount of lines a day.

Clearly clueless about how Software works in comparison to hardware. Again, not a widget company.

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The writting on the wall is when a new manager comes in, never takes time to talk to the staff and starts telling the team we are going to step up our game and people will be held accountable for fixing X amount of bugs a day, closing X amount of bugs a day, diagnostics on X amount of bugs a day and code X amount of lines a day.

Clearly clueless about how Software works in comparison to hardware. Again, not a widget company.

Sounds like a 'software factory' mentality. Having worked in quite a few software companies (and traditional IT departments of Fortune 500 companies), I've seen a lot over the last 15 years....approaches like like this don't work...

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I thought you were running a chain of natural gas filling stations.

I am growing a CNG business of selling cng fueling equipment, but it does not pay all the bills so still working in the computer industry till I reach that important break point of cash flow and this job allows me to leave all earnings in the business reinvesting to make it stronger for when I do go full time on the CNG only. :)

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The writting on the wall is when a new manager comes in, never takes time to talk to the staff and starts telling the team we are going to step up our game and people will be held accountable for fixing X amount of bugs a day, closing X amount of bugs a day, diagnostics on X amount of bugs a day and code X amount of lines a day.

Clearly clueless about how Software works in comparison to hardware. Again, not a widget company.

Sounds like a 'software factory' mentality. Having worked in quite a few software companies (and traditional IT departments of Fortune 500 companies), I've seen a lot over the last 15 years....approaches like like this don't work...

Over the last 20 years I have learned that hardware managers are clueless at managing software dev engineers and software are clueless at managing hardware Dev engineers. While learning hardware work flow of development is easier than software. it just does not work well when you bring outsiders that have no experience in the other side of the industry in to manage a group of people. Their stay in that position is always short lived.

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I'm sure there is a culture clash between hardware and software... I've never worked anywhere that had hardware products, always been in internet/web software companies or IT software groups that build software to support the company (banks, aviation products, telecom, etc).

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I'm sure there is a culture clash between hardware and software... I've never worked anywhere that had hardware products, always been in internet/web software companies or IT software groups that build software to support the company (banks, aviation products, telecom, etc).

Ever worked for anything in the mining business?

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I'm sure there is a culture clash between hardware and software... I've never worked anywhere that had hardware products, always been in internet/web software companies or IT software groups that build software to support the company (banks, aviation products, telecom, etc).

Ever worked for anything in the mining business?

Yes. We always look in the hole.

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I'm sure there is a culture clash between hardware and software... I've never worked anywhere that had hardware products, always been in internet/web software companies or IT software groups that build software to support the company (banks, aviation products, telecom, etc).

Ever worked for anything in the mining business?

nope...let's see what verticals I've been in over the years...

telecom, e-commerce, email software (twice), insurance industry software (twice), aviation (navigation charts and software), banking systems (twice), medical/pharmaceutical-related systems,an electric utility, and now online education. Never done anything automotive (though one of the insurance gigs involved auto warranty-related software)

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar

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Anyway, back on topic, hopefully Cadillac can achieve some management stability here soon and stop shedding execs...

Agreed... No strategy can survive high turnover...

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If they can push out the Lifers who are set in their old out dated way of thinking, then GM can really move the ball and kill the competition. They are getting there, but there is still much legacy house cleaning to do.

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