What Went Wrong? Everything at Once.

How the world's largest corporation broke down, and why the human cost of repairs will be brutal

THE END CAME WITH ALL THE BITTERNESS of a military surrender. For weeks General Motors chairman Robert Stempel had tried to ignore the signals of discontent radiating from a hostile band of outside directors. When Stempel was hospitalized with an attack of high blood pressure, board members did not bother to phone him get-well wishes. When rumors flew that Stempel was about to be ousted, the board issued a statement that conspicuously lacked a denial. Finally, Stempel, 59, bowed to a point-blank demand from a third-generation GM board member, who told him it was time to leave the post he had...

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