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Jalopnik: Edward Whitacre To Be Chairman Of "New GM" [Carpocalypse]


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Edward-Whitacre.jpgEdward E. Whitacre, Jr., former chairman and CEO of AT&T, will become chairman of the "New GM" when launched later this summer. He will succeed Kent Kresa, another old, white man currently serving as interim chairman. Full release below.

Edward Whitacre, Jr. to Become Chairman of New GM

Edward E. Whitacre, Jr., former chairman and CEO of AT&T Inc., will become chairman of the New GM when the company is launched later this summer, GM's interim Chairman Kent Kresa announced today. Kresa will continue to serve as interim chairman until the launch.

Whitacre and Kresa, along with current board members Philip A. Laskawy, Kathryn V. Marinello, Erroll B. Davis, Jr., E. Neville Isdell and President and Chief Executive Officer Frederick A. Henderson, will serve as the nucleus of the New GM board, providing management oversight and a continuing commitment to transparency and world-class standards of corporate governance.

The six other members of the current board will most likely retire no later than the approval of the sale of GM assets to the new entity. A selection process is currently underway for four more directors to serve on the board of the New GM. In addition, the Canadian government and the new UAW Voluntary Employee Benefit Association (VEBA) will each nominate one director, bringing the total number of New GM directors to 13.

Whitacre, 67, was chairman and CEO of AT&T Inc. and its predecessor companies from 1990 to 2007. During his tenure, which began with Southwestern Bell, Whitacre led the company through a series of mergers and acquisitions—including that of AT&T in 2005—to create the nation's largest provider of local, long distance and wireless services. He serves on the boards of ExxonMobil Corporation and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation and holds a degree in industrial engineering from Texas Technological University.

"The appointment of
Ed Whitacre
as chairman represents a very auspicious beginning for the New GM," said Kresa. "We look forward to working with him to complete the reinvention of GM and maximize the enormous potential of this new enterprise."

"I am honored to be able to serve GM at this critical juncture and take part in its reinvention," said Whitacre.

General Motors Corp., one of the world's largest automakers, was founded in 1908, and today manufactures cars and trucks in 34 countries. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 235,000 people in every major region of the world, and sells and services vehicles in some 140 countries. In 2008, GM sold 8.35 million cars and trucks globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, Hummer, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM's largest national market is the U.S., followed by China, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Canada, Russia and Germany. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. More information on GM can be found at www.gm.com.

Photo Credit: Hunter Martin / US PGA Tour


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Former AT&T CEO to become new GM chairman


By TOM KRISHER, AP Auto Writer Tom Krisher, Ap Auto Writer – 1 hr 13 mins ago

DETROIT – A former CEO and chairman of telecommunications giant AT&T Inc. will lead General Motors Corp.'s board after it emerges from bankruptcy protection, GM said Tuesday.

Edward Whitacre Jr., 67, eventually will replace Kent Kresa, who will remain GM's interim chairman until the reorganized automaker emerges as a new company that's majority-owned by the U.S. government.

Whitacre was chairman and chief executive of AT&T and its predecessor companies from 1990 to 2007. During his tenure, he led the company through several acquisitions and sales.

Whitacre sits on the boards of Exxon Mobil Corp. and the railroad company Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp.

GM says Whitacre will join the nucleus of a new GM board that will include Kresa and current members Philip A. Laskawy, Kathryn V. Marinello, Erroll B. Davis, Jr., E. Neville Isdell and CEO Fritz Henderson.

The remaining six members of the current GM board will "most likely retire" by the time most of GM's assets are sold to the new GM in bankruptcy court, the company said in a statement. Kresa is leading a selection process to pick four new directors, while the Canadian government, which also is providing financial aid to the company, will pick a board member and a United Auto Workers union retiree health care trust will select another.

That will bring the board of the new company to 13 members, GM's statement said.

Kresa, a GM board member since 2003, was named interim chairman after Rick Wagoner was forced out earlier this year as chairman and CEO by the Obama administration's autos task force. Fritz Henderson, GM's former president and chief operating officer, was named CEO and continues in that role.

GM has been operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since last week as it seeks to reorganize and shed unwanted assets. So far it has received about $20 billion in loans from the U.S. government.

"The appointment of Ed Whitacre as chairman represents a very auspicious beginning for the New GM," Kresa said in the statement. "We look forward to working with him to complete the reinvention of GM and maximize the enormous potential of this new enterprise."
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Edward E. "Ed" Whitacre, Jr. (born November 4, 1941 in Ennis, Texas) is a former chairman of the board and chief executive officer of AT&T Inc. He served as national president of the Boy Scouts of America from 1998-2000.

He is expected to become the new CEO of General Motors in 2009 when it relaunches after emerging out of bankruptcy proceedings.

Whitacre began his career with Southwestern Bell in 1963 as a facility engineer. The following year, he graduated from Texas Tech University with a bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering.

In October 1988, Whitacre was made president and chief operating officer of Regional Bell Operating Company, Southwestern Bell Corporation. Two years later, Whitacre became chairman of the board and chief executive officer. In 1995, Southwestern Bell Corporation changed its name to SBC Communications. Whitacre led SBC through a series of mergers and acquisitions in building the largest provider of both local long distance telephone services and wireless service (through its Cingular division) in the United States. These acquisitions included Pacific Telesis (1997), SNET (1998), Comcast Cellular (1999), Ameritech (1999) and AT&T (2005), from which the post-merger company took its name, as well as the 2006 acquisition of Bell South.

On June 23, 2006, he and the CEO of BellSouth were brought in under the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee following the AT&T-BellSouth merger. Most questions to Whitacre were regarding possible customer information leaks to the NSA.

On April 27, 2007, at the AT&T annual stockholders meeting, Ed announced his intent to retire as Chairman of the Board and chief executive officer at AT&T Inc., effective June 3. The Board of Directors elected Randall Stephenson to succeed Whiteacre as the new CEO and Chairman of the Board. On June 4th, 2007 Ed Whitacre retired with Randall Stephenson taking the helm the following morning (June 5th, 2007). Upon retirement, Whiteacre was eligible for a $158 million payout from AT&T.[1]

BusinessWeek reported that, though the CEO of one of the largest and most influential names in telecommunications and its surrounding technology, Whitacre did not use email or have a computer in his office.[2] It has also been reported that Whitacre offered Stephenson three words of advice via text message when the executive change was announced: "Give 'em hell".

It was announced June 2007 that AT&T's San Antonio headquarters building will be named "Whitacre Tower" in recognition of Whitacre's 44 years at the company, 17 of which were spent as chairman and CEO.

On June 28, 2007, the City of San Antonio placed Whitacre on the San Antonio River Commission.[3]

On November 12, 2008, Texas Tech announced that its college of engineering will be renamed the Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering.


Whitacre's compensation for 2006 totaled $61 million,[1] $17 million in 2005, and about $14 million in 2004.[4]

Following retirement, under his employment contract Whitacre is entitled to receive for life (except as otherwise noted):

* Automobile benefits (estimated at $24,000 annually)

* Access to AT&T's corporate aircraft, up to 10 hours of usage per month (estimated incremental monthly cost of $20,000)

* Use of AT&T office facilities and support staff

* Home security (estimated at $6,500 annually)

* Payment of applicable taxes resulting from these benefits, except for use of the aircraft (estimated at $19,000 annually)

In addition, Whiteacre has a three year consulting contract with AT&T, by which he will be paid about $1 million annually, and receive:[5]

* Club memberships (estimated at $25,000 annually) and

* Payment of applicable taxes resulting from these benefits (estimated at $15,600 annually)

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I know we need a man who can really run a company, but I wonder what his view is on cars / trucks / suv's / cuv's. It will be an interesting time for the New GM. :scratchchin:

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