Dan Akerson announced as next GM CEO
Mr Whitacre will be replaced by Dan Akerson, who has served on the GM board of directors since July 2009, who will become CEO on 1 September and chairman by the end of the year.
The move comes as the car giant embarks on a public stock offering and puts paid to any investor queries over long-term leadership. It also follows GM's announcement of its second consecutive quarter of profits – $1.3 billion with revenue of $33.2 billion – after declaring bankruptcy 14 months ago.
'My goal in coming to General Motors was to help restore profitability, build a strong market position, and position this iconic company for success,' said Mr Whitacre. 'We are clearly on that path. A strong foundation is in place and I am comfortable with the timing of my decision.'
Commenting on the new appointment, Pat Russo, lead director on the GM board, said: 'Dan Akerson has been actively engaged in and supportive of the key decisions and changes made at the new GM. He brings broad business experience, decisive leadership, and continuity to this role. The board of directors deeply appreciates the leadership Ed has provided and is pleased with the serious commitment Dan is making to the company. We look forward to his leadership.'
In common with his predecessor, Mr Akerson has held a number of executive roles in the telecommunications industry, serving as chairman and chief executive officer of XO Communications and at Nextel Communications. He was also chairman and CEO of General Instrument Corp and managing director at the Carlyle Group.
'There are remarkable opportunities ahead for the new GM, and I am honored to lead the company through this next chapter,' said Mr Akerson. 'Ed Whitacre established a foundation upon, which we will continue building a great automobile company.'