GM recruiters: Chairman Ed Whitacre ‘good fit’ to take on as permanent CEO

The 68-year-old chairman of the revamped board of the Detroit-based General Motors Co. (GM), Ed Whitacre, who also assumed responsibility as the interim CEO after the December 1 ousting of Fritz Henderson, may actually become a permanent CEO of the automaker.

According to the GM recruiters, the company’s ex-director Jerome York and one of the chairman’s Texas associates, Whitacre is a ‘good fit’ to take on as the permanent CEO. Upon assuming the responsibility as a permanent successor to Henderson, Whitacre would endeavor to overcome impediments like annual losses marring the company since 2005; and will have to work under federal pay limits.

However, there has been no official confirmation about whether or not Whitacre – ex-chairman and CEO of AT&T - would be willing to be CEO on a permanent basis.

In fact, he told the GM employees yesterday that the company’s board had hired a search firm to embark upon a global hunt for candidates to run the company, and that may take as long as a year.

Saying that the distraught GM needs a CEO who has profitably steered a Fortune 50 company, has excellent leadership capabilities and learns quickly, Sheldon Stone, a managing director at Birmingham, Michigan-based consultant Amherst Partners, added: “I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Ed in there for one or two years. He has those skill sets, and that is going to be a difficult search.”