Former AT&T Chief to Lead New GM
When the reconstituted General Motors emerges from bankruptcy reorganization, Edward E. Whitacre Jr., will be chairman, the company announced Tuesday.
Whitacre is the former chairman and chief executive of AT&T Inc.
"The appointment of Ed Whitacre as chairman represents a very auspicious beginning for the new GM," Kent Kresa, GM's interim chairman, said in a statement. "We look forward to working with him to complete the reinvention of GM and maximize the enormous potential of this new enterprise."
GM filed for bankruptcy reorganization last week with plans of selling off its good assets to create a new GM.
Kresa will continue in his interim role until the new GM is launches later this summer.
Kresa also will serve on the new GM board along with current GM board members Philip Laskawy, Kathryn Marinello, Erroll Davis Jr., E. Neville Isdell and GM President and Chief Executive Officer Fritz Henderson.
GM said the six other members of the current GM board will likely retire no later than the date when the sale of GM's assets are approved.
The new board will have 13 directors.
A search is under way for the four new directors, the company said.
In addition, the UAW retiree health care trust and the Canadian government each will nominate one director.
Whitacre, 67, serves on the boards of ExxonMobil Corp. and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. He holds an industrial engineering degree from Texas Technological University.
He was chairman and CEO of AT&T and its predecessor companies from 1990 to 2007, GM said.
"I am honored to be able to serve GM at this critical juncture and take part in its reinvention," Whitacre said in a statement.
A Texas native, Whitacre spent his entire career at AT&T, starting as an engineer in 1963 and rising to lead Southwestern Bell in 1988 after the government-ordered breakup of AT&T in 1982. Using the booming cash flow from a healthy telecommunications business, Whitacre spent much of the next two decades slowly using SBC to stitch AT&T back together, acquiring Ameritech and BellSouth among others before buying AT&T in 2005.
Whitacre also oversaw SBC and AT&T's building of the largest cellular telephone business in the nation through growth and mergers.