New GM CEO Daniel Akerson needs to create a vision, report says

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 27, 2010

With Ed Whitacre's departure as CEO of General Motors Co., he leaves a legacy of quick product decision-making that is hoped to continue under the leadership of new CEO Daniel Akerson.

Whitacre became CEO just last December but in this short period, he overturned many of the dealership terminations from bankruptcy, revised marketing plans and made drastic changes to the executive ranks.

Karl Stracke, vice president of global vehicle engineering, said that before Whitacre, it will take about half a year for executives to decide whether to build a vehicle.

But now, a concept can move from product boss Tom Stephens' monthly global product committee meetings directly to the executive committee of the board for approval. As soon as the full board votes, engineering work could start the next day.

It's too soon to assume that Whitacre's insistence for faster decision-making has taken root throughout the company but there's mounting evidence that GM is changing.

Stracke said that this culture issue is critical as investors will have to decide very soon on whether it will be wise to put money on GM common stock, as it will soon be offered in an initial public offering.

In an interview with Automotive News last week, Stracke said product decision-making has been dramatically streamlined. [via autonews]

Topics: gm, ceo, dan akerson

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