Military Wiki
Daniel Akerson
Akerson in 2012
Born Daniel Francis Akerson
October 31, 1948(1948-10-31) (age 73)
Oakland, California, United States
Alma mater U.S. Naval Academy (B.S.)
London School of Economics (M.S.)
Occupation Former Chairman and CEO of General Motors
Board member of General Motors, American Express

Daniel Francis "Dan" Akerson (born October 21, 1948) is the former chairman and CEO of General Motors, serving from 2010 to 2014. Akerson succeeded Edward Whitacre as CEO on September 1, 2010, and became chairman of the board on January 1, 2011. He was succeeded by General Motors CEO Mary Barra.[1] Akerson was a Managing Director of The Carlyle Group and head of global buyout prior to joining General Motors. He joined the General Motors board of directors on July 24, 2009. Akerson also serves on the boards of American Express and the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation,[2] and is now a Vice Chairman and Special Advisor to the board of directors for The Carlyle Group.

Personal life[]

Akerson was born in Oakland, California, grew up in Mankato, Minnesota, and currently resides in McLean, Virginia. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from the United States Naval Academy (Class of 1970) and a Master of Science degree in economics from the London School of Economics.[3] Akerson served as an officer on a Naval destroyer from 1970 to 1975.

Akerson's maternal grandparents are German and his paternal grandparents are Swedish.[4]


Akerson joined MCI Inc. in 1983 where he served as the CFO for several years as well as president and Chief Operating Officer.[5] He left MCI in 1993 to become chairman and chief executive of General Instrument, where he succeeded former United States Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.[6]

In 1996, Akerson was hired to be the chief executive of Nextel. During his tenure as CEO, Nextel's revenues grew from $171.7 million in the year before his arrival to more than $3.3 billion in 1998. Shortly after stepping down as CEO of Nextel in July 1999, Akerson was brought in by Craig McCaw to run Nextlink Communications, later rebranded as XO Communications.[7] XO Communications entered bankruptcy in June 2002, and Akerson resigned as CEO in December 2002.[8] Akerson joined The Carlyle Group in 2003.[9] While at The Carlyle Group, Akerson ran the company's largest private equity fund.[10]

In July 2009, Akerson was named to the board of directors of General Motors as a representative of the U.S. Treasury, which at the time owned a 61% stake in GM.[11] On August 12, 2010, it was announced that Akerson would be the successor of Ed Whitacre as CEO of General Motors, starting September 1, 2010 and would also assume the chairman of the Board position on January 1, 2011. General Motors, during Akerson's first year of tenure in 2011, earned a record $7.6 billion in profit off of $150.3 billion in sales.[12] In December 2013, the U.S. Treasury sold its final remaining shares of GM common stock.[13]

In April 2013, investors began to speculate that the 64-year-old executive may be considering retirement. The speculation was based solely on changes to Akerson's compensation plan at GM.[14]

On December 10, 2013, GM announced that Akerson will be replaced as CEO of GM by Mary Barra, effective January 15, 2014.[15] It is reported that Akerson's retirement was expedited by his wife's advanced stage cancer,[16] however on March 1, 2014, The Carlyle Group announced that Akerson rejoined the firm as Vice Chairman and Special Advisor to the board of directors.[17] As of February 2014 to current Akerson serves on the board of directors at Lockheed Martin.

Public citizenship[]

In August 2016, Akerson announced that he would—for the first time in his life—not vote for the Republican presidential candidate.[18] In an op-ed piece for The Washington Post, Akerson excoriated Donald Trump on a wide range of issues, while praising Hillary Clinton.[18]


  1. David, Javier E. (2013-12-10). "GM caps busy week by naming Mary Barra as new chief" (in en). 
  2. "Daniel F. Akerson Corporate Bio". General Motors. January 1, 2011. Archived from the original on December 6, 2010. Retrieved February 22, 2011. 
  3. "The Carlyle Group". Retrieved 2017-07-11. 
  4. James, Sheryl. "Navigating Troubled Waters". Hour Detroit magazine. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  5. "Home - News16_10 - Lockheed Martin". Retrieved 2017-07-11. 
  6. Andrews, Edmund L. (August 12, 1993). "MCI's President Quits in a Surprise Move". The New York Times, EDMUND L. ANDREWS, August 12, 1993. Retrieved April 30, 2010. 
  7. "Nextlink CEO Is on a Hot Streak". The Washington Post, Rob Garretson, June 26, 2000. June 26, 2000. Retrieved April 30, 2010. 
  8. "XO Chairman Akerson to Leave". The Washington Post, December 28, 2002. December 28, 2002. 
  9. O'Hara, Terence (January 31, 2005). "Carlyle Group Prepares for the Next Generation". The Washington Post, Terence O'Hara, January 31, 2005. Retrieved April 30, 2010. 
  10. David Welch (2010-08-26). "Dan Akerson Takes the Wheel at GM - Bloomberg". Retrieved 2017-07-11. 
  11. "New GM Board Members Named". The Washington Post, Terri Rupar, July 23, 2009. Retrieved April 30, 2010. 
  12. Bunkley, Nick (February 16, 2012). "G.M. Reports Big Profit; Europe Lags". The New York Times. Retrieved February 16, 2012. 
  13. "Treasury Sells Final Shares of GM Common Stock". 
  14. Zach Bowman (2013-04-28). "GM alters Akerson's pay mix because he may retire". Retrieved 2017-07-11. 
  15. Javier E. David (2013-12-10). "GM names Mary Barra as new CEO". Retrieved 2017-07-11. 
  16. Smith, Aaron (December 10, 2013). "GM names Mary Barra as new CEO". CNN. 
  17. "News Release Archive | The Carlyle Group". Retrieved 2017-07-11. 
  18. 18.0 18.1 Akerson, Daniel (2016-08-17). "I've always voted Republican. Until now.". Retrieved 2017-07-11. 

External links[]

Business positions
Preceded by
Edward Whitacre Jr.
CEO of General Motors
September 1, 2010 to January 15, 2014
Succeeded by
Mary Barra
Preceded by
Edward Whitacre Jr.
Chairman of General Motors
September 1, 2010 to January 15, 2014
Succeeded by
Tim Solso

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).