Daniel F. Akerson
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, General Motors
Daniel F. Akerson has been chairman and chief executive officer of General Motors since 2010 and led the company’s initial public offering that year — the largest in U.S. history. He joined GM in 2009 as a member of its Board of Directors.
Under Akerson’s leadership, GM is experiencing a substantial transformation to re-establish the company as an industry leader in dramatic automotive design, technology, business results and corporate financial performance. Akerson’s team is taking critical steps to drive consistent profitability, gain global market share, improve product quality and customer care, and invest in technology, manufacturing and job creation.
To date, Akerson’s efforts have been recognized by The Detroit Free Press, Michigan’s largest newspaper, which named Akerson a co-winner of its Automotive Leadership Award in January 2013 for guiding GM through its bankruptcy crisis during the deep global recession of 2009.
Before joining GM, Akerson was a managing director and head of global buyout for The Carlyle Group in Washington, D.C. He managed more than $50 billion in assets and more than 200 portfolio companies with several hundred thousand employees around the world.
Akerson also served as CEO or president of several telecommunications and technology companies, including MCI, Nextel Communications, XO Communications and General Instrument, through periods of explosive growth and dynamic change.
Akerson serves on the boards of the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation, the Tsinghua University (China) School of Economics and Management Advisory Board and the International Business Leaders Advisory Council of Shanghai. He is a member of The Business Council, comprising 150 active-member CEOs from the world’s largest businesses.
Akerson also is deeply dedicated to improving the quality of life within the communities where GM operates. He strongly supports GM’s philanthropic focus that places a special emphasis on nurturing tomorrow’s leaders and innovators. Over the past year, the General Motors Foundation has provided an estimated $20 million to education initiatives, including the Buick Achievers Scholarship Program and the United Way Network of Excellence; both place a strong focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curricula.
In 2013, Akerson and his wife, Karin, were named Habitat for Humanity Michigan’s Sponsor of the Year and he was also named a Michiganian of the Year by the Detroit News. In 2012, he and Karin co-chaired the annual Capuchin Soup Kitchen dinner, raising a record sum, and launched the Habitat for Humanity Leaders to Rebuild Detroit initiative with a cornerstone contribution. Akerson was also recognized with the Marine Corp Scholarship Foundation Leatherneck Award and with the U.S. Naval Academy Distinguished Graduate Award for his lifetime commitment to service, personal character and distinguished contributions to our nation. In 2011, Akerson was named “Humanitarian of the Year” by So Others Might Eat (SOME), which serves the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
Akerson chairs his family’s Blue Earth Foundation, which provides financial assistance to programs serving young people.