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American Turnaround

Reinventing AT&T and GM and the Way We Do Business in the USA

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


Ed Whitacre is credited with taking over the corporate reins at General Motors (GM) when the automotive manufacturer was on the brink of bankruptcy during 2009 and turned the company around in magnificent fashion. In this business memoir, the native Texan explores his unique management style, business acumen and patriotism.

It was President Obama who reached out to Ed Whitacre to come out of retirement and take over GM in 2009. A down-to-earth, no-nonsense Texas native with a distinctive Texas twang in his voice, Whitacre was reluctant to come out of retirement to work at GM.

But Whitacre is that rare CEO with great charisma and extraordinary management instincts. And when he got to Detroit, he started to whittle down the corporate bureaucracy right away - and got GM back on track in record time

Before being pulled out of retirement to run GM by Obama, Ed Whitacre had spent his entire corporate career in the telecom business, where he ultimately ended up running AT&T.

From Publishers Weekly

Oct 15, 2012 – An inspiring memoir from the laconic CEO and chairman of AT&T and GM. Whitacre spent 44 years at AT&T, starting as a student engineer in the early 1960s at what was then Southwestern Bell and eventually leading the company. His time there was rewarding, exciting, and beneficial for the company: he oversaw the original iPhone contract, implemented budget-saving, cost-cutting measures, and did away with executive privilege. He also made good but less popular decisions such as moving Southwestern Bell from St. Louis to his native Texas. After spending just two years getting accustomed to retirement, Whitacre was asked by the White House to take over the sinking GM. He agreed, intending to be quickly in and out, but instead ended up shepherding the company through the launch of the Volt and a highly successful IPO. The Obama administration approved of his success, and he finally stepped down, handing GM over to a new CEO. Whitacre characterizes himself as a private man by nature, but wrote the book to thank and publicly acknowledge the people who helped him throughout his career. In what is basically a vanity project, albeit a sweet one, Whitacre describes his philosophy, management style, and business principles, all of which are interesting, but not particularly novel.

Customer Reviews

American turnaround

I lived through this period as a supplier with GM and Mr Whitacre's account is very general and not at all insightful. And now he has left GM in the hands of an CEO that is even less a leader and car guy than Ed. Very disappointing read!

Eye Opening

I downloaded this book because I will be attending a breakfast in which Mr. Whitacre will be the keynote speaker, and wanted to learn more about his career. He does a great job explaining his roots, background and thought process as a manager. I would recommend this to anyone that aspires to lead any sort of organization.

Great read

This is not a book about GM and AT&T. This is a book about effective leadership at every rank. GM and AT&T just happen to be the beneficiaries of the effective leadership portrayed.

American Turnaround
View in iTunes
  • $14.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Management & Leadership
  • Published: Feb 05, 2013
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Seller: Hachette Digital, Inc.
  • Print Length: 304 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings