Whitacre quits GM

Posted on Aug 16, 2010 by

Ed Whitacre is quitting GM after a productive 8 months at the helm.

Ed Whitacre, the CEO of who has seen them through the latter period of their toughest financial trouble, has quit the company and will be replaced by 61-year-old Daniel Akerson from 1st September.

Whitacre, who became GM CEO last December, and was the first head of the company to shake up the executive structure, is said to have been pressured to either commit long-term to the company or leave.

Having taken the latter decision, time will only tell whether Whitacre’s ‘clean sweep’ actions have taken root over the past eight months. He initially saved many dealership terminations, updated the company’s marketing plan, and streamlined the product decision-making process.

Since taking over from Fritz Henderson who was also only CEO for eight months, under Whitacre’s direction GM recorded two profitable quarters in 2010.

According to ex-GM vice chairman Bob Lutz, Whitacre was “basically in it to get it stabilised and ready for somebody else to take over”.

His replacement has a very different profile to 68-year-old Whitacre who always said he was ‘not a car guy’, having come from being CEO of AT&T. Akerson is often referred to as a finance guy and some believe that his lack of manufacturing background might work against him.

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