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GM Announces: Dan Akerson to Become CEO, Whitacre Remains Chairman 2010.08.14

Detroit, USA - August 12, 2010 - General Motors today said that Edward E. Whitacre, Jr. will step down as chief executive officer on September 1, 2010, and as chairman of the board by the end of the year, having successfully led the company's return to profitability after the most turbulent period in its history. Dan Akerson, 61, who has served on the GM board of directors since July 2009, will become CEO on September 1 and chairman by the end of the year.

Edward E. Whitacre, Jr.
Courtesy of GM

Detroit, USA - August 12, 2010

General Motors today said that Edward E. Whitacre, Jr. will step down as chief executive officer on September 1, 2010, and as chairman of the board by the end of the year, having successfully led the company’s return to profitability after the most turbulent period in its history.

Earlier today, GM reported its second consecutive quarter of profits after a string of losses dating back to 2007.

Dan Akerson, 61, who has served on the GM board of directors since July 2009, will become CEO on September 1 and chairman by the end of the year, ensuring a smooth transition and continued positive momentum for the company.

“My goal in coming to General Motors was to help restore profitability, build a strong market position, and position this iconic company for success,” said Whitacre.
“We are clearly on that path. A strong foundation is in place and I am comfortable with the timing of my decision.”

Whitacre, 68, joined GM as chairman of the board on July 10, 2009.
On December 1, 2009, he was named chief executive officer.
He led the company after it emerged from a historic bankruptcy to become a profitable automaker again.

“Ed Whitacre was exactly what this company needed, at exactly the right time,” said Pat Russo, lead director on the GM board.
“He simplified the organization, reshaped the company’s vision, put the right people in place, and brought renewed energy and optimism to GM.”

“Dan Akerson has been actively engaged in and supportive of the key decisions and changes made at the new GM. He brings broad business experience, decisive leadership, and continuity to this role,” said Russo.
“The board of directors deeply appreciates the leadership Ed has provided and is pleased with the serious commitment Dan is making to the company. We look forward to his leadership.”

Daniel F. Akerson
Courtesy of GM
In addition to serving on the GM board since July 2009, Akerson has had a distinguished career in finance as a managing director at the Carlyle Group and in telecommunication, serving as chairman and chief executive officer of XO Communications and at Nextel Communications.
He was also chairman and CEO of General Instrument Corp.

“There are remarkable opportunities ahead for the new GM, and I am honored to lead the company through this next chapter,” said Akerson.
“Ed Whitacre established a foundation upon which we will continue building a great automobile company.”

About General Motors

General Motors, one of the world’s largest automakers, traces its roots back to 1908.
With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 208,000 people in every major region of the world and does business in some 157 countries.

and its strategic partners produce cars and trucks in 31 countries, and sell and service these vehicles through the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, FAW, GMC, Daewoo, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling.

GM’s largest national market is China, followed by the United States, Brazil, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Italy.

GM’s OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services.
General Motors acquired operations from General Motors Corporation on July 10, 2009, and references to prior periods in this and other press materials refer to operations of the old General Motors Corporation.

More information on the new General Motors can be found at

Detroit, USA - August 12, 2010

Comments by Ed Whitacre and Dan Akerson

Following are comments made today by Ed Whitacre, GM chairman and CEO, and Dan Akerson, the GM director who will assume the CEO position effective September 1.

Edward E. Whitacre, Jr.
Courtesy of GM
The statements were made during GM’s second quarter results conference call.

Ed Whitacre:

Thank you Chris and good morning everyone.

I hope you enjoyed hearing those great results as much as I did.

Results like these make it clear that the new GM is on the right track, with good momentum behind us and a bright future ahead of us.

And so, it also gives me a lot of confidence to begin transitioning in new leadership at General Motors.

I am pleased to announce that, effective September 1, I will step down as CEO of GM. Dan Akerson, who currently serves on the GM board, will become CEO at that time.

I will remain chairman of the board until the end of the year, and then Dan will assume that role as well.

This is something the board and I have been contemplating, literally since I joined GM. At this stage of my career, it was obvious that I was not going to be at GM for the long haul.

My goal in coming to General Motors was to help restore profitability, build a strong market position and prepare this iconic company for success.

Today, we are clearly on that path. We have put a strong foundation in place, so I am very comfortable with my timing.

I am also very comfortable with the board’s decision to make Dan Akerson the next CEO and chairman. Dan has played a big role in the key decisions and changes at the new GM. He brings broad business experience, decisive leadership and continuity.

The transition will be smooth, and he will build on the positive momentum we established since we came here in July of 2009.

I am excited about this. I know Dan will do a terrific job of leading this company forward. He has a great team around him, and the complete support of the GM board and employees, who are the best in the business.

In fact, Dan is on the line with us, and I’d like to turn the call over to him for a few quick words. After that, we’ll be glad to take a few questions.

Go ahead, please, Dan.

Dan Akerson:

Thank you, Ed, and good morning everyone. It’s a pleasure to be with you today.

I wanted to take a couple minutes to express my gratitude to Ed Whitacre and to the board for this opportunity.

As many of you know, I joined the GM board in July 2009, after a long career in telecommunications and finance. I have been actively involved in the decisions that are propelling the new GM forward.

Since joining the GM board, my admiration for this company, and my appreciation for this industry, have grown tremendously. So when the opportunity came to serve as CEO, I was proud to say “yes.”

I continue to be impressed with the strengths of our company, the quality of our products, and the dedication of our employees, dealers, and other stakeholders.

I have watched GM regain momentum in North America, tackle head-on the tough challenges in Europe, and continue our rapid growth in China, Brazil, India, and other key markets.

We still have important work ahead of us, but I am confident that we are building the foundation for GM’s long-term success.

I’d especially like to thank Ed Whitacre for restoring GM to profitability, building a strong market position, and giving this iconic company a bright future.

GM is very fortunate that he came here when he did, and I am very glad he’s staying on as chairman. So, at this point, it is premature to discuss my plans for the future at GM.

But I will say this: Ed’s vision of simplifying the business, of giving people the authority and accountability to do their jobs, and of keeping us focused on designing, building and selling the world’s best vehicles has served the new GM extremely well.

And I expect this will continue driving our success going forward.


Tom Wilkinson

Daniel F. Akerson

GM Chief Executive Officer
(effective September 1, 2010)

Daniel F. Akerson
Courtesy of GM
Daniel F. Akerson
was elected chief executive officer of General Motors Company on August 11, 2010.
He will become CEO effective September 1.

Prior to joining General Motors, Akerson was a managing director of The Carlyle Group and the head of global buyout.
He served on the firm's executive committee and was based in Washington, D.C.
He joined the GM board of directors July 24, 2009.

Akerson is a seasoned executive with extensive operating and management experience, having served as chairman, chief executive officer, or president of several major companies, including General Instrument, MCI, Nextel, and XO Communications.
His corporate management experience, private equity track record, and deep understanding of Carlyle’s global operation provided a strong foundation for his leadership of Carlyle’s buyout activities in Asia, Europe, Financial Services, Infrastructure, Japan, and the United States.

Prior to joining Carlyle, Akerson served in several key roles at MCI Communications Corporation from 1983-1993 including executive vice president and chief financial officer from 1987-1990 and president and chief operating officer from 1992-1993.
During his tenure, Akerson formulated and executed MCI’s global strategy.

In 1993, Akerson become a general partner of private equity firm Forstmann Little & Company, during which time he served as chairman and chief executive officer of General Instrument Company from 1993-1995.
While at General Instrument, he led a successful effort to develop and deploy the first digital video, satellite, and cable systems domestically and internationally.

Akerson served as chairman from 1996-2001 and as chief executive officer of Nextel Communications, Inc., from 1996-1999, where he transitioned the company from a regional analog walkie/talkie provider into a national digital wireless competitor.
From late 1999 until January 2003, Akerson served as chairman and chief executive officer of XO Communications, Inc. where he led the successful restructuring of the company.

In addition to serving on GM's board, Akerson also serves on the board of American Express Company, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Freescale Semiconductor.

Akerson graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a bachelor of science in engineering. He earned his M.Sc. in economics from the London School of Economics.


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