New GM will make money, repay loans, CEO says

Henderson also said the company would reduce its overall U.S. salaried employment by 20% by the end of 2009. He said management ranks will be cut 35%, or 450 executives, including the elimination of its North American president position. Henderson said he will take responsibility for North American operations.

The new company will focus on three top priorities, customers, cars and culture, Henderson said.

"If we don't get this right, nothing else is going to work," he said during a morning news conference at GM's Downtown Detroit headquarters. "Business as usual is over at General Motors."

New Chairman Edward Whitacre Jr. said the 40-day period had been extremely challenging. "There have been a lot of long hours, there have been a shuttering of plants, there have been painful layoffs," he said. Whitacre cited the "strong leadership" of Henderson and the management team, giving the CEO who replaced Rick Wagoner a vote of confidence.

"We all want to win and we are going to win," Whitacre said.

The company's logo will remain blue with white underlined GM letters. Henderson said GM has no plans to change the background color to green. "It's not in my plans actually," he said.

GM has considered the change to represent its new environmental focus.

Concessions made by the United Auto Workers union just before the company entered bankruptcy protection have brought GM's labor costs down to where they are fully competitive with Toyota Motor, Henderson said.

Henderson also said the U.S. government has urged them to form a "world-class board" and has vowed that it would not get involved in day-to-day decisions. Steve Rattner, the head of the Obama administration's auto task force, "wants the company to perform," Henderson said.

In addition to the U.S. government's controlling interest, the United Auto Workers union gets a 17.5% stake of the company through its retiree health care trust, and the Canadian government will control 11.7%. The remaining shares went to bondholders of the old company.

The parts of GM not moving to the new company will become part of "old GM," a collection of assets and liabilities that will be sold to pay creditors.

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