Edward E. 'Ed' Whitacre, Jr.Enlarge Photo
General Motors chairman and chief executive officer Ed Whitacre will step down from his positions, passing the CEO slot to Dan Akerson on September 1 and departing as chairman of the GM board on December 31, 2010.
The new CEO was voted onto GM's board last September as the company was reconstituted with government backing following its Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Akerson was previously CEO of telecommunications provider Nextel, chief operating officer of MCI WorldCom, and a former managing director of the private-equity investment firm Carlyle Group.
Whitacre, an outsider to the auto industry who previously ran AT&T, replaced long-time GM executive Fritz Henderson last December. The appointment of Akerson continues a nascent GM tradition of telecommunications executives running the global automaker.
Henderson himself had replaced another GM lifer, Rick Wagoner, under whose watch GM lost tens of billions of dollars, a large portion of its market share, and ended up in bankruptcy.
Dan Akerson, GM CEO as of September 1, 2010Enlarge Photo