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June 1st, 2009
12:15 PM ET

The 31-year-old in charge of dismantling G.M.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/US/12/29/us.auto.bailout/art.cars.gi.jpg]

David E. Sanger
The New York Times

It is not every 31-year-old who, in a first government job, finds himself dismantling General Motors and rewriting the rules of American capitalism.

But that, in short, is the job description for Brian Deese, a not-quite graduate of Yale Law School who had never set foot in an automotive assembly plant until he took on his nearly unseen role in remaking the American automotive industry.

Nor, for that matter, had he given much thought to what ailed an industry that had been in decline ever since he was born. A bit laconic and looking every bit the just-out-of-graduate-school student adjusting to life in the West Wing — “he’s got this beard that appears and disappears,” says Steven Rattner, one of the leaders of President Obama’s automotive task force — Mr. Deese was thrown into the auto industry’s maelstrom as soon the election-night parties ended.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • auto bailout • Economy
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. meenas17

    A 31 year old is winding up the company. is not so engrossing.Creating is difficult , but is far easier than dismantling it. Brian deee, is not too young for the responsibilty, nor too old for being outdated. It is the right age and we can expect a quick shutdown.

    June 1, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  2. Rob

    Since no one had any answers outside of complaining when it was obvious 2 of the big 3 were going to fall, I think it's typical of the American spirit to change gears and approach the issue from a different tangent. Deese brings common sense with some rational thought into the picture and is willing to point out the things that the Detroit Old Boy Network have overlooked for years. Large companies hire CEOs from other industries all the time to inject new ideas and blood into the system. It's about time it happens in automotive.

    June 1, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  3. tom s

    not sure you need a bachelor's degree, let alone an mba, to figure out that if you lose 20-30% of your sales, then you need to cut 20-30% of your expenses; the longer you wait, the losses keep piling up until the business can't be saved....
    – shuttered 8 year retail business last year

    June 1, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  4. Keena

    Hold on... WAIT!! Did I just hear that no jobs in Mexico or anywhere else will be lost?? GM.... Giving to Mexico????? We own 60% of the company??? We are paying for everyone else to be employed. You still want us to buy GM vehicles? So what I understand is that Americans are no longer good enough to be employed with the company?!?! Please help me understand!

    June 1, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  5. Keena

    Is it still an "American" car when there are more foreigners employed with the company than Americans? I am outraged!

    June 1, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  6. JC- Los Angeles

    While the demise of GM, Wall Street and Capitiol Hill can largely be attributed to failed leaders with failed visions, it now seems only logical to try someone with no accomplishments, no experience and no tangible results.

    Only in America.

    June 1, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  7. Larry

    You call 31 young? In 4 years he'll be old enough to run for POTUS.

    June 1, 2009 at 12:26 pm |