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Whitacre Named As Permanent CEO at General Motors
CNBC.com | January 25, 2010 | 11:46 AM EST

General Motors Chairman and interim CEO Ed Whitacre is dropping the interim from his title as the automaker's CEO.

Whitacre announced the change this morning at GM's Detroit headquarters.

The 68-year-old Whitacre had been GM's interim CEO since last month, when the company's board ousted former CEO Fritz Henderson. He says GM's board asked him to become permanent CEO last week.

Whitacre is the former CEO of AT&T . He was named chairman of GM last summer after the automaker emerged from bankruptcy.

Whitacre has said he wants to increase GM's sales and market share while shifting the company's focus from trucks to cars. He's also aiming to repay $8.1 billion in U.S. and Canadian government loans by the end of June.

The move has been seen as all but certain since Whitacre, 68, announced on Dec. 1 that he would take over as acting CEO after predecessor Henderson was ousted after eight months.

Whitacre, the former chief executive at AT&T, became GM chairman last July at the request of the Obama administration as the company emerged from a government-sponsored bankruptcy that included more than $50 billion in financing.

Whitacre has said Chris Liddell, who joined GM as chief financial officer from Microsoft, is a leading candidate to succeed him.

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