It was always his intent to move on the moment General Motors Company was back on its feet, GM CEO Ed Whitacre, 68, said today at the close of a press conference discussing second quarter results. So with GM’s second straight quarterly profit just announced, Whitacre will resign as CEO of the U.S.’s largest automaker, effective September first.
Taking Whitacre’s place is board member Dan Akerson, 61, who joined last year as GM was emerging from bankruptcy in July.
Whitacre will stay on as Chairman of the Board until year end, at which time Akerson will also assume that post.
“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 Whitacre. “We are clearly on that path. A strong foundation is in place and I am comfortable with the timing of my decision.”
Whitacre, joined GM as chairman of the board on July 10, 2009, as GM emerged from a taxpayer support restructuring that brought it out of bankruptcy. On December 1, 2009, he was named chief executive officer.
“Ed Whitacre was exactly what this company needed, at exactly the right time,” said Pat Russo, lead director on the GM board. “He simplified the organization, reshaped the company’s vision, put the right people in place, and brought renewed energy and optimism to GM.”
“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,” said Russo.
Akerson said in a brief question period that it was safe to assume that there won’t be any major management changes.
“The biggest change is me,” Akerson said.
In addition to serving on the GM board since July 2009, Akerson has had a career in finance as a managing director at the Carlyle Group and in telecommunications, serving as chairman and chief executive officer of XO Communications and at Nextel Communications. He was also chairman and CEO of General Instrument Corp.
Akerson graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a bachelor of science in engineering. He earned his M.Sc. in economics from the London School of Economics.