I am currently the general manager of the hybrid/electric car division at General Motors.
I enjoyed my time at Procter & Gamble pushing toothpaste around the world. I then took that marketing experience to GM, and eventually moved from marketing to general management.
I have a political agenda: I think if the US depended less on oil there would be much less need to meddle in the politics of the Middle East. The environment would also benefit. Working on the hybrid-car is one of my contributions to society. I’ve also started to outsource some operations to companies in Africa, so that is my other contribution. I believe I am helping to ease the pain on that continent, still suffering from the effects of slavery and colonialism, by providing some people with some jobs, as has been done for many in India. Finally, by working to make GM a better company, I am helping to raise the living standards of my hometown, Detroit Rock City.
I am finally doing something that I am really passionate about on multiple levels. It has been tough getting people to give up their gas-guzzlers, and we definitely have a long way to go, but with the new tax credits, a greater worldwide concern for the environment, and increased gas prices, people have begun to buy hybrid cars. I’m not a bad executor, and surprise, I’m not bored. After years at McKinsey telling people what to do, who would have known that I could make things happen? Some of my crazy ideas actually do make money.
My hours are not too bad, so I am deeply involved in the Democratic Party – motivated by the grand larceny of Election 2000. I spend a lot of time fund raising, helping with campaigns, and I am even contemplating running for office. I have continued to develop the not-for-profit I helped start back in 1997, and am happy that I’m able to be more active with that.
I would say I have a pretty fulfilled life. I am involved in the community helping to make the world a better place, have a happy home life living near my folks, and have had some business success.
Editors Note: At the request of the Harbus, Andwele was kind enough to submit this article, which he originally wrote as an assignment in last term’s LEAD class.
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