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Dan Akerson to retire as GM CEO

Staff writer | Detroit, Mich., USA – General Motors announced that Dan Akerson will step down as chairman and chief executive officer, effective January 15, 2014. [break]

Mr. Akerson has been Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of General Motors since 2010 and led the company’s initial public offering that year — the largest in U.S. history. He joined GM in 2009 as a member of its Board of Directors. The Detroit Free Press, Michigan’s largest newspaper named Mr. Akerson a co
| December 10, 2013
Dan AkersonDecember 10, 2013, Detroit, Mich., USA – General Motors announced that Dan Akerson will step down as chairman and chief executive officer, effective January 15, 2014.
Mr. Akerson has been Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of General Motors since 2010 and led the company’s initial public offering that year — the largest in U.S. history. He joined GM in 2009 as a member of its Board of Directors. The Detroit Free Press, Michigan’s largest newspaper named Mr. Akerson a co-winner of its Automotive Leadership Award in January 2013 for guiding GM through its bankruptcy crisis during the deep global recession of 2009.

Before joining GM, he was a managing director and head of global buyout for The Carlyle Group in Washington, D.C. He also served as CEO or president of several telecommunications and technology companies, including MCI, Nextel Communications, XO Communications and General Instrument.

Mr. Akerson serves on the boards of the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation, the Detroit Economic Club, the Tsinghua University (China) School of Economics and Management Advisory Board and the International Business Leaders Advisory Council of Shanghai. He is a member of The Business Council, comprising 150 active-member CEOs from the world’s largest businesses.

Mr. Akerson was also recognized with the Marine Corp Scholarship Foundation Leatherneck Award and with the U.S. Naval Academy Distinguished Graduate Award for his lifetime commitment to service, personal character and distinguished contributions to our nation.

In 2011, he was named "Humanitarian of the Year" by So Others Might Eat (SOME), which serves the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Mr. Akerson chairs his family’s Blue Earth Foundation, which provides financial assistance to programs serving young people.

A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy with a bachelor of science in engineering, he earned a master’s degree in economics from the London School of Economics.

Mary T. Barra, executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain, was elected by the Board of Directors to become the next CEO of the company.

Ms. Barra will also join the GM Board. Ms. Barra was named Senior Vice President, Global Product Development effective February 1, 2011, responsible for the design, engineering, program management and quality of General Motors vehicles around the world.

On August 1, 2013, she assumed responsibility for GM’s Global Purchasing and Supply Chain organization and was named Executive Vice President, Global Product Development & Global Purchasing and Supply Chain. She is a member of the GM Executive Operations Committee and serves on the Adam Opel AG Supervisory Board.

Ms. Barra had previously been Vice President, Global Human Resources. She has also served as GM Vice President, Global Manufacturing Engineering; Plant Manager, Detroit Hamtramck Assembly; Executive Director of Competitive Operations Engineering; and has held several engineering and staff positions. She is GM’s Key Executive for Stanford University and University of California-Berkeley.

In 1990, Ms. Barra graduated with a Masters in Business Administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business after receiving a GM fellowship in 1988. She began her career with GM in 1980 as a General Motors Institute (Kettering University) co-op student at the Pontiac Motor Division. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering.

The Board also named Theodore Solso to succeed Mr. Akerson as Chairman.

Mr. Solso is the former chairman and CEO of Cummins, Inc., and has been a member of the GM Board since June 2012.

Dan Ammann, executive vice president and chief financial officer, was named company president and will assume responsibility for managing the company’s regional operations around the world.

Mr. Ammann was named Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer in April 2011. Previously, he served as Vice President Finance and Treasurer since April 2010. He was appointed to the Opel Supervisory Board in November 2011. He is a certified industry pool test driver at the Nürburgring Nordschleife racetrack in Germany.

Before joining GM, he was managing director and head of Industrial Investment Banking for Morgan Stanley. During his 11 years at Morgan Stanley, he was instrumental in many high profile assignments including advising GM during its 2009 restructuring. He previously spent five years at Credit Suisse in New York and New Zealand.

Mr. Ammann holds a Bachelor of Management Studies (First Class Honours) from the University of Waikato in New Zealand. He will retain CFO responsibilities at least through the release of the company’s fourth quarter and full-year 2013 results in early February 2014.

Alan S. Batey, currently senior vice president, Global Chevrolet and U.S. Sales and Marketing, will replace Mr. Reuss and is named Executive Vice President and President, North America.

Mr. Batey was appointed Senior Vice President, Global Chevrolet Brand Chief & U.S. Sales and Marketing effective July 1, 2013. Prior to this, he had served as GM Vice President, U.S. Sales and Service, and Interim GM Chief Marketing Officer since June 2012. He also served as Vice President, U.S. Chevrolet Sales and Service from 2010 to 2012.

Mr. Batey began his career with General Motors in 1979 as a mechanical engineering apprentice for the company’s Vauxhall operation in the United Kingdom. Throughout his career he has held several senior management positions of increasing responsibility for GM in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, The Netherlands, Germany, Korea and Australia.

These roles included Executive Director Commercial Vehicles & Fleet Sales for GM Europe, Regional Director of GM in the Middle East, Managing Director of Opel in the Netherlands, Vice President of Commercial Operations for GM Daewoo, and GM Holden’s Chairman and Managing Director. He completed the General Motors’ Senior Executive Program at Harvard University and holds a City and Guilds Parts 1, 2 & 3 degree in Mechanical Engineering.

The company also announced that Steve Girsky, vice chairman, Corporate Strategy, Business Development and Global Product Planning, will move to a senior advisor role until leaving the company in April 2014. He will remain on the GM Board of Directors.

Mr. Girsky serves as Vice Chairman, Corporate Strategy, Business Development & Global Product Planning. In this position, he has overall responsibility for global corporate strategy, new business development, global purchasing and supply chain, global product planning and program management, global connected consumer/OnStar, and GM Ventures LLC and global research & development.

He continues to serve on the General Motors Board of Directors, GM Ventures LLC Board of Managers, GM Financial Company Board of Directors, and European Automobile Manufacturers Association Board of Directors.

Beginning in July 2012 through February 2013, Mr. Girsky served as the interim head of GM’s European operations as President of GM Europe. Prior to becoming GM Vice Chairman, he briefly served as Senior Advisor to the Office of the Chairman.

Previously, Mr. Girsky was president of S. J. Girsky & Co, an independent advisory firm based in New York, where he applied more than twenty years of experience working with senior corporate and board executives, labor leaders, OEM leaders, suppliers and dealers, national and local policy makers. He also served as the lead director of Dana Holdings Corp. He has also served as president of Centerbridge Industrial Partners, an affiliate of Centerbridge Partners, LP.

Prior to Centerbridge, Mr. Girsky was a special advisor to the CEO and CFO of General Motors Corporation from August 2005 to June 2006. In total, Mr. Girsky has more than 25 years of automotive experience, including serving as managing director at Morgan Stanley and as senior analyst of the Morgan Stanley Global Automotive and Auto Parts Research Team.

While at Morgan Stanley, Mr. Girsky was ranked the No. 1 automotive and auto parts analyst by Institutional Investor's "All-American Research Team" annual investor poll for 14 consecutive years. His automotive and auto parts team ranked No. 1 in the Greenwich Associates poll for 14 consecutive years as well.

Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, he was managing director of PaineWebber's Automotive Group and worked as an analyst on the overseas financial staff of GM. He holds a B.S. in mathematics from the University of California at Los Angeles and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School.