In a statement released to the public, GM says, “[Today], General Counsel Michael Millikin informed the company of his decision to retire in early 2015. The company will immediately begin an external search for his replacement.”
This announcement comes just 3 months after Millikin went under a microscopic examination for his handling of the GM ignition switch recall, which has now been linked to 27 official deaths (there are over 100 more cases pending). During the proceedings, senators seemed baffled by Millikin’s proclaimed ignorance of the defect and cover-up.
Despite overwhelming evidence that includes a $5 million settlement with a crash victim months before the recall, Millikin stuck by his guns through all the questioning, re-iterating that he was completely unaware of any major ignition-switch problem. It was a disrespectful move that basically treated all of America like complete morons.
Not surprisingly, GM– who has had a long, long history of disrespect— has back Millikin through the entire ordeal.
In an official statement from the company, CEO Mary Barra says, “He has led global legal teams through incredibly complex transactions, been a trusted and respected confidant to senior management, and even led the company’s business response team following the tragedy of 9/11… [He’s] a man of impeccable integrity, respectful candor, and unwavering loyalty.”
The statement above from Barra is nothing more than a shrewd, manipulative political statement. I mean, what in the world does 9/11 have to with GM, other than the company trying to use one of this country’s great tragedies as a distraction?
Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri had similar questions concerning Millikin, saying, “How in the world in the aftermath of [the GM internal] report did Michael Millikin keep his job? This is either gross negligence or gross incompetence on the part of a lawyer.”
“[GM’s culture of] lawyering up… killed innocent customers of General Motors. I think the failure of this legal department is stunning.”
Either way, it appears that Millikin is going sail off into the sunset, enjoying retirement and his millions of dollars, while hundreds of people are left in the dark with no answers and nobody held accountable.