New GM CEO Akerson to keep the automaker on the same, new course

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 27, 2010

On September 1, Daniel Akerson will take over the General Motors' CEO position from Ed Whitacre. However, in naming telecom executive Daniel Akerson, GM directors are expectant that the carmaker will remain on the same course a year after it emerged from bankruptcy. Akerson, who is an outside director at GM since July 2009, will be the fourth CEO at GM in 18 months.

As the second straight outsider, Akerson is expected to use an outsider's zeal for change and results, without being limited by the fear of shaking things up. Akerson had told Forbes magazine sometime ago that he wants "turmoil" and "excitement." 

According to the Wall Street Journal, Akerson is a "blunt-spoken, aggressive competitor." In the early 1990s, Akerson was being treated for a gall bladder ailment in Germany.

He became so impatient that the doctors weren't moving quickly enough and so, he pulled the tubes out of his arm, checked himself out of the hospital and went back to the US.

Akerson, who is an engineering graduate of the US Naval Academy, said that he doesn't anticipate major revisions in Whitacre's strategy or approach.

In a conference call, Akerson told reporters that they "share a common vision for the goals and objectives of this company." He said that the new GM is headed for "remarkable opportunities" and that he is "honored to lead the company through this next chapter."

In Whitacre's direction, the management ranks and layers were thinned, with executives getting more authority to hasten decision-making. Whitacre also prioritized building GM's core brands to accelerate sales growth and rise above lingering taxpayer concerns about the government bailout. [via autonews]

Topics: gm, ceo, dan akerson

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