In late 2001 I went to Detroit to write an article for CIO Magazine about GM’s various IT and e-commerce initiatives. I got 20 minutes to interview Rick Wagoner.
Waiting in the lobby of the executive suite high up in the Renaissance Center, I eventually realized that the GM public relations person I was with, Chris, had never met Wagoner before. I think he was more nervous than I was.
I had of course done my homework. Wagoner came out and introduced himself very cordially. Hit me as an extremely likeable and unpretentious person. As we walked up the steps, I said “So I see from my reading that you are a Duke man.”
Recall that in 2001, UNC basketball was suffering through the darkest of the Doherty years. I can hardly describe the glee with which Wagoner pounced after discovering my alma mater.
Afterwards, PR Chris said, “I can’t believe you got 20 minutes with Wagoner and spent the first ten talking hoops.”