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Investors to GM: Ed Whitacre, Don't Go!

According to a poll by 'TheStreet,' many investors believe that GM shouldn't have allowed CEO Ed Whitacre to resign -- and that GM chose the wrong person to succeed him.
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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- According to a new poll by TheStreet, many investors believe that GM shouldn't have allowed CEO Ed Whitacre to resign -- and that, beyond that, GM chose the wrong person to succeed him.

Some 48% of the voters in our weeklong poll said GM should have retained Whitacre, compared to the 29.6% of the voters who indicated that Whitacre had to go -- but Akerson was the wrong guy to replace him. A smaller portion of polltakers said that Whitacre had to go, and Akerson was the right CEO to replace him, at 22.4%.

In other words, that means fewer than one quarter of all respondents felt that GM had made the right call.

The news of Whitacre's resignation has drawn some positive reactions from the analyst community. "Mr. Akerson is said to bring some international understanding to the table that would help the turnaround in Europe as well as facilitate overseas growth," Wall Street Strategies analyst David Silver said in an investor note.

"Mr. Akerson doesn't have any auto industry experience, but then again neither did Mr. Whitacre or even


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CEO Alan Mulally. It seems to be just what the industry needed, bringing in fresh minds from outside of the industry."

Silver, however, had expected GM CFO Chris Liddell to be named the new chief.

Meanwhile, CRT Capital analyst Kirk Ludtke said in an investor note that "we are not entirely surprised to see Ed Whitacre step aside in favor of someone who may be willing to give the company and prospective investors in a GM IPO a longer-term commitment." Whitacre told reporters that he always had the intention to step down once his job was done.

GM's IPO was previously expected to be launched last Friday, but it was delayed amid the CEO announcements. The IPO could now be filed with the SEC on Wednesday, according to reports. According to


, GM may sell preferred stock with its IPO of common shares in order to lure in hedge funds and other new investors as these shares have both debt and equity attributes.

The report also posited that GM would receive proceeds from the preferred shares offering and won't sell shares itself in the common shares offering. Press reports say that GM is seeking to raise up to $16 billion through the offering.

General Motors announced the resignation of CEO Ed Whitacre as the automaker posted a quarterly profit of $1.3 billion ahead of its planned IPO. Whitacre's replacement, Dan Akerson, heads the

Carlyle Group's

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global buyout division. Akerson's resume includes key positions at large companies, including

General Instrument






XO Communications.

-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York


>> Did GM Choose the Right CEO to Replace Ed Whitacre?

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