The man charged with turning General Motors around said he knows nothing about the auto industry.
Edward Whitacre, 67, was appointed to run the automaker after it emerges from bankruptcy -- but by his own admission knows nothing about the industry he is overseeing.
"I don't know anything about cars," Whitacre told Bloomberg. "A business is a business, and I think I can learn about cars. I'm not that old, and I think the business principles are the same."
U.S. & World
The day's top national and international news.
Whitaker, or "Big Ed" as he's known in the business, made his name running AT&T and its predecessors and is the only non-CEO to lead GM's board in half a century.
General Motors filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and hopes to emerge from court protection in no more than 90 days. Whitacre will then step in and try to turn the company around.
The Treasury said Whitacre is "well qualified" for the position, in a statement.
But telecom industry analyst Victor Schnee told the the Assoicated Press that Whitacre's appointment was "bizarre."
"The guy accomplished a number of things in telecom and we all thought the book was closed," he said.