No, not the first time. First, there's a distinction: the government didn't TELL him to step down, they simply said that the CEO would need to step down if GM were to accept federal aid.
This has happened before:
September 2008, at Fannie and Freddie: http://www.treas.gov/press/releases/hp1129.htm
"I appreciate the productive cooperation we have received from the boards and the management of both GSEs. I attribute the need for today's action primarily to the inherent conflict and flawed business model embedded in the GSE structure, and to the ongoing housing correction. GSE managements and their Boards are responsible for neither. New CEOs supported by new non-executive Chairmen have taken over management of the enterprises
, and we hope and expect that the vast majority of key professionals will remain in their jobs."
Again at AIG, also in September 2008: http://www.usatoday.com/money/topsto...-09-16-0_x.htm
"In the most far-reaching intervention into the private sector ever for the Federal Reserve, the government stepped in Tuesday to rescue American International Group Inc. with an $85 billion injection of taxpayer money. Under the deal, the government will get a 79.9 percent stake in one of the world's largest insurers and the right to remove senior management. AIG's chief executive, Robert Willumstad, is expected to be replaced by Edward Liddy, the former head of insurer Allstate Corp.
, according to The Wall Street Journal, citing a person it did not name."
Keep in mind that both of those incidents occurred under Bush. So, no, Obama wasn't the first to do it. It's just bad reporting and demonizing the black man, as always.
Should we be scared by this? Possibly. A lot of people I know are speculating that in the future this might "creep" into other companies/industries that the government doesn't own. Personally, I don't see that happening. Obama is characterized as a socialist in the mainstream media, but for anyone who follows his policies, that is truly an absurd accusation. The last thing he wants is for the government to own or run companies...otherwise he would've nationalized the banks by now! So, no worries, Phoenix.