Akerson Wants Next GM CEO To Be "Change Agent"
With reports circulating that General Motors CEO Dan Akerson will step down sometime next year, the executive told Automotive News that he wants his successor to be a change agent and a risk taker. “There’s no prototypical CEO,” Akerson said. “A good leader has to be innately bright, intellectually curious. They have to be a change agent, never satisfied with the status quo.”
Akerson, whom some say brought more accountability to GM’s bureaucracy said, “You have to establish accountability and an orientation to risk, recognizing that we’re not a fault-free company,” he said. “Have the humility and audacity to say ‘I made a mistake,’ and back up and go down the other way.”
Akerson, 65, wouldn’t comment on a timeframe for his retirement and said that the choice of someone to replace him will be made by the GM board of directors, which he heads as chairman. “I think we do have people here that I think fit that bill,” Akerson said, without naming anyone. “Of course, I’m on the board and I’ll have an opinion. But that’s kind of what I would look for.”
Akerson was hired in 2010, an outsider to what he perceives as a insular, parochial industry. He put Bob Ferguson, like himself a former telecommunications executive, in charge of the Cadillac brand. He also picked Mary Barra to be in charge of GM’s global product development though she has a relative lack of experience in vehicle engineering. Barra is considered one of the front runners to replace Akerson when he retires. More recently Akerson gave Barra oversight over GM’s $75 billion purchasing operations.
Besides Barra, others said to be on the short list of those who could replace Akerson are GM North America President Mark Reuss, CFO Dan Ammann and Vice Chairman Steve Girsky.
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Photo caption: "Dipshit Dan's first-time ever in a Corvette, a polo shirt, or a ball cap."
I nominate... me! I can push forward cars not ready for prime time as well as the next guy. I will tell Chevy not to make the Corvette look like a GT-R. (I will also tell them the Silverado needs to look like it's actually a new design.) I will get Cadillac to build the Sixteen. (And to tone down the styling of the CTS... it reminds me of the Predator.) And I will bring back actual, for-real, by-God station wagons! How's that for Change?!?