Dan Akerson could step down as chief executive of General Motors Co. as early as 2014, Reuters reported, citing people privy with the matter. GM's board, however, is not in a rush to have Akerson depart and has yet to set a timeframe for hiring an executive search firm that will look for potential CEO candidates, whether from inside the carmaker or from outside, one of the sources familiar with the board’s thinking told Reuters.
Speculations about Akerson’s exit from GM gained momentum in April 2013 when the carmaker disclosed in a securities filing that the CEO’s compensation plan had changed. According to the filing, GM did not award Akerson any restricted stock units in 2012 "in acknowledgement of the possibility of his retirement before the completion of the three-year vesting period," which would be in 2015. Four senior GM executives are rumored to be the main candidates to replace Akerson.
Reported to be a heavy favorite is North American operations chief Mark Reuss. The board is expected to launch an official search once Akerson formalizes his exit plans, according to the person familiar with the board's thinking." He said that at some point, Akerson will decide “he has done what he has wanted to do and will step down.”
GM representatives remarked that the US carmaker has succession plans in place, but gave no details. GM's head of communications Selim Bingol said that they are “very comfortable” with their succession planning, which is in place for all the company’s key officers.
GM named Akerson as CEO just before it went public on November 2010, following a $49.5-billion federal bailout and bankruptcy reorganization. Executives at Peugeot, a GM partner, believe that Akerson will exit from the US carmaker next year, and will not stay beyond 2015, according to people privy with the discussions between the two companies.