Dan Akerson says next GM CEO should be a “change agent”

Article by Anita Panait, on November 18, 2013

Dan Akerson wants the person replacing him as the next chief executive of General Motors to be a “change agent” who is never satisfied with the status quo. GM’s top honcho told Automotive News in an interview that the next CEO should be able to guard against any complacency that could send the carmaker back into bad habits.

"There's no prototypical CEO," he said, adding that a good leader has to be “innately bright, intellectually curious.” He said that since he is on GM’s board, he will have a voice on the selection of the next CEO, whose attributes he outlined above. Reuters recently reported, citing unnamed sources, that Akerson may exit GM in 2014.

The report added that Akerson has yet to formally notify GM’s board of his plans and the carmaker has yet to commence a search for his replacement.

Akerson said that that the choice of successor will be ultimately decided by GM's board, of which he is chairman. He told Automotive News that he thinks that GM has the people who are fit to be his successor, but declined to name them.

In a securities filing in April, GM disclosed that it 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 end in 2015. A GM spokesman said that the carmaker was “comfortable” with its succession planning, which they have in place for all their key officers. Akerson’s time in GM is focused on accountability and elimination of notorious bureaucratic mess.

Topics: dan akerson, gm, ceo

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