One of the first shock waves comes from Bloomberg, which reports that Whitacre has left the automaker due to reasons connected with the company’s IPO. It seems that GM’s executive board together with bankers offered the 68-year-old CEO a tough choice, forcing him to choose between leaving the company or agreeing to keep his position for multiple years in order to increase investor confidence on the financial market.
The company chose to play this hard due to the fact that a future CEO succession move would have made things unstable on the financial market. When contacted by the aforementioned source to discuss the move, GM refused to comment.
Whitacre chose to exit the stage and agreed to be replaced by Daniel Akerson (61), with the move becoming effective on September 1.
A leading role in this story was played by the bankers at JPMorgan Chase & Co and Morgan Stanley, which are leading the company’s offering. They asked Whitacre to offer an estimate of his future career plan. The CEO didn’t offer a term for his GM departure and also refused to offer a replacement plan. Actually, Whitacre has recently told the GM board of directors that 2010 will be the last year in which he wants to hold his current role.
The aforementioned source’s insiders said that Akerson was chosen as the company had no time for a proper executive search. This leaves room for speculations and can end up affecting the investor’s confidence in the end, despite the company’s return to profit.