Is the decision by Ed Whitacre to stay on as CEO at General Motors a good move for the company? Find out the full story inside.
Ed Whitacre has been named permanent CEO of General Motors, according to the company. His goals for the company include repaying $5.7 billion in loans from the U.S. and Canadian governments by June, an initial public offering, and the continued divestment of non-core brands.
In a press conference Monday, Whitacre said his decision to accept an offer from the board to turn his interim-CEO role into a continuing career was to help GM become more durable. "This place needs some stability; I guess that's me," Whitacre said at the event.
When Whitacre took over for former CEO Fritz Henderson in December, he became the company's third CEO in less than a year. He remains Chairman of the Board, a job he took on when GM exited bankruptcy in July.
"The last thing GM needs right now is its fourth CEO in less than a year. More than anything, GM needs stability -- stability in leadership, stability in direction -- so that it can sell cars, boost market share, make money, get its financial house in order and go public again," Edmunds.com senior analyst Michelle Krebs told the Detroit Free Press.
Whitacre wants to lead the company through an IPO in short order to boost the company's level of cash. "The next milestone will be our initial public offering where we can be traded as a public company again, allowing the government to divest its equity in an orderly and timely manner," he said. Whitacre noted that paying back government-backed loans is a crucial step to becoming profitable again.
The 68-year-old Texan retired as CEO for AT&T in 2007. He is joined by CFO Chris Liddell, who had held the same role at Microsoft.