Acting in response to a request from the General Motors board of directors, acting Chief Executive Officer Ed Whitacre has agreed to assume that position on a full-time basis. One of his first announcements in that newly formalized capacity was to state that GM will repay all outstanding loan balances owed to various governments by mid-2010.
The former CEO of AT&T -- who became acting Chairman of GM after the automaker emerged from a structured bankruptcy last July -- outlined his thinking on transitioning from a temporary to permanent status in that post. "The board of directors asked if I would be willing to stay on at GM and help continue the company's road back to success. Having spent the past few months learning the business, meeting with our employees, customers and dealers, and working with the GM leadership team, I was both honored and pleased to accept this role. This is a great company with an even greater future, and I want to be part of it."
Speaking at GM's headquarters in Detroit, Whitacre also provides a welcome update on the current state of corporate finances. "We've made significant progress in the past couple of months, so much so that I can confirm with certainty that we will pay back in full the U.S. Treasury and Canadian and Ontario government loans by June. This represents a significant milestone in our journey back to being a profitable and viable company."