GM CEO flying on AT&T jets

General Motors Co. dumped its corporate jets last year while in bankruptcy after being berated by lawmakers in late 2008 for flying top executives to Washington to ask for a bailout.

But Chairman and CEO Edward Whitacre Jr. still flies private, thanks to a little-known perk negotiated with his former employer, AT&T Corp., before he joined GM in 2009.

Whitacre, 68, negotiated a lifelong deal with the telecommunications giant before he retired in 2007 with a $158 million package that allows him to fly, free, on AT&T corporate jets for up to 10 hours a month. That’s the equivalent of two round-trip flights between his home in San Antonio and his apartment in Detroit. The perk costs AT&T, where Whitacre was chairman and CEO, about $20,000

From The Detroit News: … z0hb9U04MI

I don’t see a problem with this, except that idiot Lewin who states Whitacre shouldn’t use what he worked for until he leaves GM. what does he expect Ed to commute with, the F-in bus? Levin should worry more about our illustrious messiah flying around to ‘tour-stops’ bowing to everyone in site on my tax dollar! This article makes it seem like this is something out of the ordinary… CEOs of Fortune 100 companies get more perks than you can imagine, it’s the American way!!

First, that ‘illustrious messiah’ you are talking about, is the POTUS. Whether you like the man or not, Please have and show some respect for the office, and the person occupying that office.

Second, would you have said the same exact thing when Bush was in office? Clinton? Reagan? Nixon? Kennedy?

Back on topic, the GM executive screwed up big time, and was caught out by it not only by Congress, but the media as well. The way it looks, he is a CEO that doesn’t want to step down from his cushy corporate executive lifestyle, humble himself, and travel with the people who are not only less fortunate than him, but those who he cost their job. Without saying as much, he just pulled a Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette on all of those who lost their job at GM. He doesn’t deserve such a perk.


He may not deserve it but it was in a contract. That sort of perk is not unheard of.
Boards will be a bit more conservative in the “perks” arena, at least for a while, then we will be back to normal.
The President or even Congressmen and women using taxpayer paid transportation is certainly nothing new. It’s been the norm since George was around (Washington not Bush). I hope nobody thinks it is some brand new waste of money! They do need to get around to give and receive ideas, that is one of the things we pay them for.

He got that as part of his deal so I see absolutely no problem. It gets old reading all the sanctimonious postings on here and articles from the media. If I had that perk I am not giving it up, they gave it to me so I have every right to use it. If your a shareholder of ATT send your complaints to them, if you are not then what difference does it make to you?

I respect the office. The person occupying the office, like everyone else in office, has to earn it.

I can’t speak for the original poster but I would say the same thing regardless of who the president was.

Uhhh, Whitacre retired with ‘benefits’ FROM AT&T in 07, GM fell apart in 08, he was ASKED to run GM in 09, how did Ed cost them their jobs?

Hmm… me thinks you are misinformed.

By all means, enlighten me.


As a customer of both companies, I think very little of both.

to the original poster: “enlighten” us on how Ed Whitacre is responsible for lost jobs at GM??

I didn’t say Ed Whitacre. I said the GM executive. That would be the one who got caught out by Congress and the media for flying a corporate jet to D.C. to beg for money from the gov’t.

As far as Whitacre goes, flying like how he is does nothing for his perception as an executive, especially with those who lost their jobs at GM. It’s a slap in the face to those who worked hard there, lost their job thanks to their ill-preparedness, and have nothing to return to. And to see the Chairman/CEO of GM flying around on a corporate jet while those that used to work there hoping that Congress extends unemployment? That doesn’t leave a warm fuzzy with anyone.


I’m surprised this only costs AT&T $20,000 a month. Me thinks (knows) they’re burying some costs somewhere. A charter jet from mid-ohio to NYC and back usualy runs us $7,000.

As a shareholder I’m ok with a lot of this if it’s work related. Sending them to exotic spots for weekends is not my favorite use of company money. But I really don’t want someone that’s being paid $1,000/hour sitting in an airport or connecting through ATL and not being productive. I’m no where near the level of these guys and we take a lot of charter flights to avoid 8 hour round-trip car rides.

Keep in mind, they’re probably quoting a figure based on direct operating costs ONLY. They aren’t factoring in pilot salaries, hanger, loan service, etc… because those items already exists, whether or not they do this particular flight. $20K seems reasonable if you’re only talking about fuel, oil, etc…