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Whitacre Says CEO Search is Over. It’s He!

Chairman and acting CEO is CEO after “sort of learning this business” at Government-packed Board's request.

by on Jan.25, 2010

"My motivation for doing this has not changed."

"My motivation for doing this has not changed."

At a news conference in Detroit late this morning, GM chairman and acting CEO Ed Whitacre, Jr., said that he has agreed to take the CEO job for an indefinite period following a request by last week by the U.S. government-packed board of directors.

The announcement confirms new reports, including ours, of earlier today, and possibly calls into question the effectiveness of regulation FD, or fair disclosure, from the Security and Exchange Commission, which is designed to prevent the selective release of news material to some of a company’s investors before it’s publicly revealed to all.

U.S. taxpayers have invested $120 billion in the U.S. auto industry, with GM representing $50 billion of that amount. Management changes are without question material.

This place needs some stability,” Whitacre said. “And I guess that’s me.”

The announcement comes just before  President Obama’s first State of the Union address this Wednesday. Obama, whose ratings among independent voters are plummeting, is expected continue his recent themes of attacking Wall Street banking plutocrats, some of whom were responsible for the wildly unpopular bailouts of the financial industry, as well as the taxpayer-subsidized reorganizations of GM, Chrysler and GMAC, among other loss-making concerns in the automobile business.

Tax Dollar Watch!

Last week GM announced that a consummate Wall Street banking insider, Stephen Girsky, is being paid almost $1 million a year.


Whitacre to Become Permanent GM CEO?

Announcement could come late this morning.

by on Jan.25, 2010

Why is this man smiling? Perhaps because "Big Ed" Whitacre will be named GM's permanent CEO, while retaining his Chairman's post.

It looks like “Big Ed” Whitacre could be around a little longer than he originally anticipated – and in a role neither he nor General Motors had originally planned on.

Well-placed sources echo wire reports that Edward Whitacre, Jr. will be formally named the permanent CEO of GM, this morning.  A briefing is scheduled for this morning, 11:30 AM EST, though for the moment, GM officials will only say that the rushed news conference is to discuss “business activities.”

The former CEO of the telecomm giant SBC, which became AT&T, Whitacre joined GM as its non-executive Chairman, last July, following its emergence from bankruptcy.  The 68-year-old Texan initially declined the offer, made by the White House, which is overseeing the government’s 60% stake in GM.  But Whitacre eventually agreed to what observers thought would be a brief and relatively outside role steering the automaker’s restructuring.

Your Breaking News Source!

That changed dramatically, on November 30th, when the Whitacre-led GM Board of Directors ousted former CEO Fritz Henderson.  The Texas-born executive stepped into the role as “Acting” CEO, while a nationwide search was begun.