I am a moderate liberal, not a conservative or socialist. Conservatives believe that markets always work and big companies are better to be trusted than big government. Socialists want economic equality and trust big government more than big business. A moderate liberal - as I define it - thinks that government and business need each other as checks on excess and both need to be regularly and seriously questioned by the angry - or even just curious - masses who will otherwise become tools of these institutions. Conservatives believe that individuals have to make it on their own and socialists believe that the individual is merely a product of the state. We liberals believe that the role of government is to provide opportunities (e.g., health care, education, and well regulated markets) for the individual because no one can make it on their own but the individual should nonetheless be free to define his own life. Not the controlling government of socialists or the abandoning government of conservatives but, instead, a government that enables individuals.
One of the problems with being a moderate liberal is that one can't simply say that government or private sector is the solution. For me, the answer is "it depends." Markets fail and we need to intervene at times (for instance, the market for educating children living in poverty is almost nonexistent and we need the government to step in with money), but markets are generally the best way to allocate scarce resources (children and their parents should have choices about educational philosophy and schools and these schools should thrive or fail based on how well they shape and/or meet demand).
So, when it comes to CEOs and the power they should wield, I think that the current power structure is tilted towards CEOs. Someone needs to intervene. I'm not exactly a conservative on this matter of leaving companies to behave as they wish. But I don't think that Obama - or his staff - have any uniquely qualifying abilities to choose the CEO who'll enable an automobile company to prosper. For me, the notion of Obama and company making the decision to oust GM's CEO Wagoner is the low point in his presidency.
What is the quip? You can trust a man who knows his limitations? If Obama is now pretending to have expertise in corporate management, he's certainly failed that test.