🚗 🚙 Turn your trusty old car into trustworthy journalism Learn more

GM CEO Whitacre to step down, clearing way for long-term company plan

Marketplace Staff Aug 13, 2010
HTML EMBED:
COPY

GM CEO Whitacre to step down, clearing way for long-term company plan

Marketplace Staff Aug 13, 2010
HTML EMBED:
COPY

TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: When General Motors said yesterday it made more than a billion dollars from April to June, the company added a surprise announcement: CEO Ed Whitacre is leaving GM just as it prepares for what might be the biggest public stock offering in U.S. history. Marketplace’s Jeff Horwich explains the move.


Jeff Horwich: Whitacre has been the face of GM through a major turn-around, from bankruptcy and government bailout to more than $2 billion in profits so far this year. But he made clear he didn’t plan to be GM’s leader for the long haul — he never even moved from San Antonio to Detroit. With a critical stock offering coming up, GM’s board reportedly decided to put its long-term face forward.

That’s Daniel Akerson, a telecom industry veteran put on GM’s board by the U.S. government, which owns about two-thirds of the company. He’s known as quiet, but also fierce and decisive — with a taste for dramatic change. Dave Cole of the Center for Automotive Research says that’s in line with the cultural change at GM since its bankruptcy.

Dave Cole: The game has changed absolutely dramatically. It’s a 180-degree shift that in many respects is absolutely amazing.

Akerson takes over in September. The change could delay GM’s stock offering — that might not please the Obama administration, which is pushing to recoup its $50 billion investment in the company.

I’m Jeff Horwich for Marketplace.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.