Sunday, May 31, 2009

Who is Al Koch? - (GM to file for Chapter 11)

Read on Bloomberg "GM to Name Al Koch to Top Restructuring Position, WSJ Reports"

Also on marketwatch "GM set to file Ch. 11 Monday morning"

Who is AL Koch?

Albert A. Koch, a turnaround specialist and managing director at the advisory company AlixPartners LLP, was a partner with Ernst & Young for 14 years, including seven years as Managing Partner of the firm's Detroit office. He holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from Elizabethtown College, and is a member of several professional associations. He is a Certified Turnaround Professional and a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy, its Treasurer and a member of its Board of Directors. He also is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute, and the American Institute of CPAs.

Mr. Koch served as interim Chief Financial Officer of Kmart Corporation. In this position, he provided executive leadership and led the development of a multi-year operating business plan, as well as driving financial performance in conformity with the plan. His other assignments have included serving as interim CFO of Oxford Health Plans and leading the restructuring of Ryder System, Inc., which resulted in the building of significant shareholder value.

In 30th June 2002, Al Koch was appointed as interim President & CEO of Champion Enterprises Inc which was in the brink of bankruptcy. To prevent chapter 11 filing, he closed down the company's (manufactured) housing loan origination business, HomePride Finance Corp, four manufacturing facilities and 35 retail sales centers. After putting the company on the path to sustainable profitablity, he stepped down and a new CEO was appointed in 2004. But was the success of the turnaround due to the housing bubble that was brewing because of Greenspan's low interest rate. Currently the company's shares are trading at $0.44.

By appointed Al Koch, GM is again doing more of the same - appointing accountants and business graduates to the top position. They need to appointing someone with engineering experience with an understanding of business, reason being GM is firstly an engineering company and secondly a manufacturing company. This current appointment will send the wrong message to the rank and file.

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