- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 10, 2009

DETROIT | A former CEO and chairman of telecommunications giant AT&T; Inc. will lead General Motors Corp.’s board after the automaker 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.

Mr. Whitacre was chairman and chief executive officer of AT&T; and its predecessor companies from 1990 to 2007. During his tenure, he led the company through several acquisitions and sales. Mr. Whitacre sits on the boards of Exxon Mobil Corp. and the railroad company Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp.

GM said Mr. Whitacre will join the nucleus of a new board that will include Mr. Kresa and current members Philip A. Laskawy, Kathryn V. Marinello, Erroll B. Davis Jr., E. Neville Isdell and CEO Frederick A. “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. Mr. Kresa is leading a selection process to pick four new directors. 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 one, too.

That will bring the board of the new company to 13 members, one more than the current board.

GM has been operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since June 1 as it seeks to reorganize and shed unwanted assets. Thus far, it has received about $20 billion in loans from the U.S. government.

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