Who’s on GM’s board

December 3, 2009

Who’s on GM’s board

High-powered people who will be in spotlight in CEO search

BY GREG GARDNER
FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER

The search forhttp://www.freep.com/article/20091202/COL14/912020459/1331/BUSINESS01/Henderson-never-fit-in-at-GM-helm"> Fritz Henderson’s successor didn’t begin earlier for a simple reason: He was on General Motors Co.’s board until Tuesday.

"The executive search industry is not a low-key business," said Peter Cappelli, director of the Center for Human Resources at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. "Word gets out. When the current CEO is on the board, doing it quietly is almost impossible."

Now the directors, a group of high-powered people accustomed to anonymity, will be in the spotlight. They must find the right person to run a business in which Americans have invested more than $50 billion.

Just who are these people and what do they bring to the process?

All but two — Kent Kresa and Philip Laskawy, both of whom have been on the board since 2003 — are new since GM’s July 10 bankruptcy exit.

Private equity leaders

Three run private equity funds — David Bonderman, Daniel Akerson and former GM Chief Financial Officer Stephen Girsky. They look for distressed companies they can buy cheaply and then find the right operating leader to turn them around, enabling a quick and profitable return.

Bonderman, a Harvard-educated lawyer, runs TPG Capital in Ft. Worth, Tex. Forbes magazine listed him at the 105th-wealthiest American in 2007 with a net worth of about $3.3 billion.

TPG, however, stumbled in 2008 when it lost $1.35 billion investing in Washington Mutual, the Seattle-based mortgage lender that collapsed under the weight of subprime mortgages.

Akerson is a managing director of the Washington, D.C.-based Carlyle Group, a major private equity fund. He has led its global buyout business.

No manufacturing experience

Two directors come from the telecommunications industry, including http://www.freep.com/article/20091201/BUSINESS01/312010004/Whitacre-quickly-grabbed-drivers-seat-as-GM-chairman">Chairman and now CEO Ed Whitacre, who retired as chairman and CEO of AT&T, and Patricia Russo, who was ousted last year as CEO of Alcatel-Lucent.

There are two other female directors: Kathryn Marinello, CEO of Ceridian Corp., a human resources and payroll services provider, and Carol Stephenson, dean of the University of Western Ontario school of business.

The remaining two seats are held by retired CEOs: Neville Isdell of Coca-Cola Co. and Robert Krebs of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp.

"It is surprising there is not more bench strength in manufacturing," said Jerry Davis, professor of management at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. "On the positive side, the private equity people bring a knowledge of the turnaround experience."

Ideally, GM’s reconstituted board will find a young and available version of Ford Motor CEO Alan Mulally, an outsider who has already turned around another Fortune 500 company.

"The pool of those perfect candidates is not large," said Sheldon Stone, a managing director with Birmingham-based Amherst Partners, a turnaround adviser to automotive suppliers. "Then there are compensation restrictions."

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Edward E. Whitacre Jr.

 

Chairman and CEO General Motors Co.

Joined GM board July 10

Chairman emeritus of AT&T Inc., since 2007; held offices of chairman and CEO (2005-07); chairman and CEO, SBC Communications (1990-2005).

Directorships: Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. and Exxon Mobil Corp.

Daniel F. Akerson

Managing director and head of global buyout, the Carlyle Group

Joined GM board July 24

Managing director and head of global buyout, Carlyle Group since July; served as managing director and cohead, the U.S. Buyout Fund (2003-09); chairman and CEO, XO Communications (1999-2003); chairman, Nextel Communications (1996-2001), and held offices of chairman and CEO from 1996 to 1999.

Directorships: American Express Co.

David Bonderman

Cofounding partner TPG

Joined GM board July 24

Cofounding partner TPG, a private investment firm he founded in 1992; chief operating officer, Robert M. Bass Group (now Keystone Group LP) (1983-91), and partner, Arnold & Porter LLP (1971-82).

Directorships: Chairman, Ryanair Holdings PLC; Armstrong World Industries Inc.; CoStar Group Inc.; Gemalto NV.

Erroll B. Davis Jr.

Chancellor University System of Georgia

Joined GM board July 10

Chancellor University System of Georgia, the governing and management authority of public higher education in Georgia, since 2006; chairman of Alliant Energy Corp. (2000-06), and held offices of president and CEO (1998-2005).

Directorships: BP PLC, Union Pacific Corp.

Served on board of directors of Motors Liquidation Co. (formerly known as General Motors Corp.)

Stephen J. Girsky

President S. J. Girsky & Co.

Joined GM board July 10

President S. J. Girsky, an independent advisory firm based in New York, since January; president, Centerbridge Industrial Partners, LLC, an affiliate of Centerbridge Partners, LP, a private investment firm (2006-09); special adviser to CEO and chief financial officer, Motors Liquidation (formerly GM) (2005-06); adviser to the UAW, and managing director, Morgan Stanley and senior analyst, Morgan Stanley global automotive and auto parts research team (1995-2005).

E. Neville Isdell

Retired chairman and CEO, the Coca-Cola Co.

Joined GM board July 10

Retired chairman and CEO, Coca-Cola since April; held offices of chairman (2004-09), and chairman and CEO (2004-08); international consultant to Coca-Cola and head of his investment company (2002-04).

Served on board of Motors Liquidation (formerly GM)

Robert D. Krebs

Retired chairman and CEO, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp.

Joined GM board July 24

Chairman, Burlington Northern (2000-02); held offices of chairman and CEO (1999-2000), and chairman, president and CEO (1997-99).

Directorships: UAL Corp.

Kent Kresa

Chairman emeritus, Northrop Grumman Corp.

Joined GM board July 10

Chairman emeritus, Grumman since 2003; held offices of chairman and CEO (1990-2003).

Directorships: Chairman, Avery Dennison Corp.; Fluor Corp.; MannKind Corp.

Served on board of directors of Motors Liquidation (formerly known as GM); interim nonexecutive chairman (March 29-July 10, 2009)

Philip A. Laskawy

Retired chairman and CEO, Ernst & Young LLP

Joined GM board July 10

Chairman and CEO, Ernst & Young (1994-2001).

Directorships: Chairman, Federal National Mortgage Association; Henry Schein Inc.; Lazard Ltd.; Loews Corp.

Served on board of directors of Motors Liquidation (formerly known as GM)

Kathryn V. Marinello

Chairman and CEO, Ceridian Corp.

Joined GM board July 10

Chairman and CEO, Ceridian, an information services company in the human resource, retail and transportation markets, since 2007; held offices of president and CEO (2006-07); president and CEO for GE Fleet Services, a division of General Electric Co. (2002-06).

Served on board of Motors Liquidation (formerly known as GM)

Patricia F. Russo

Former CEO, Alcatel-Lucent

Joined GM board July 24

CEO of Alcatel-Lucent (2006-08); chairman and CEO, Lucent Technologies Inc., (2003-06), and president and CEO (2002-03); president and chief operating officer, Eastman Kodak Co. (March-December 2001).

Directorships: Alcoa Inc., Schering-Plough Corp.

Carol M. Stephenson

Dean, Richard Ivey School of Business, the University of Western Ontario

Joined GM board July 24

Dean, Ivey School, since 2003. president and CEO, Lucent Technologies Canada (1999-2003).

Directorships: Intact Financial Services Corp. (formerly ING Canada)

 







 

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