If the title of this heavy and somewhat left-field news article caused you to spit out your Mountain Dew, coffee, or whatever you prefer to drink at this hour, don’t worry. You’re not the only one. When General Motors held a conference call to discuss its second quarter earnings, we only expected to report on just that, and not Big Ed’s resignation just when we were starting to get comfortable with him leading The General. And no, Maximum Bob Lutz will not be the one grabbing the reins.
Effective September 1st, 2010, GM board of directors member Daniel Akerson will be filling the big shoes Whitacre is stepping out of. Whitacre will stay on as chairman until the end of 2010, at which poin Akerson will take over the position.
Akerson, 61, is a former telecommunications CEO (much like Whitacre) for the business telecommunications company XO Communications, where he served from 1999 to 2003. Since 2003, he has been the managing director for global investment firm The Carlyle Group and still holds his position today. Akerson has also led Nextel as its CEO from 1996 to 1999 and its chairman from ’96 to 2001.
It pretty much goes without saying that Akerson is no more a car guy than Whitacre. But he has been a voice in virtually every key decision since July 2009, when GM exited bankruptcy. We’re expecting great things from Mr. Akerson!