When young Forrest Gump first met Jenny, sitting side-by-side in the school bus, she asked him, “Are you stupid or something?” To which Forrest replied, “Mama says stupid is as stupid does.” I wonder what Jenny would have said if she had met little Alan Batey on the school bus — or, for that matter, any of the top executives at General Motors who were involved in hiring Johan de Nysschen to head up Cadillac.
Of course, in a bubble of arrogance, supported by an inbred culture, these people think they’re brilliant. It reminds me of the words of Belgian humorist Philippe Geluck: “When you are dead, you don’t know that you are dead. It is difficult only for the others. It is the same when you are stupid.”
In June, GM finally parted ways with our boy Johan, but only after he singlehandedly destroyed the last remaining shreds of a great brand that was already on the ropes. Cadillac still has a faint heartbeat, but its directors are all standing around its deathbed, holding defibrillator paddles and praying their luxury division won’t flatline.
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