Daniel F. Akerson became GM Chairman effective January 1, 2011 after serving as CEO since September 1, 2010. Prior to joining General Motors, Akerson was a managing director of The Carlyle Group and the head of global buyout. He served on the firm's executive committee and was based in Washington, D.C. He joined the GM board of directors July 24, 2009.
Akerson is a seasoned executive with extensive operating and management experience, having served as chairman, chief executive officer, or president of several major companies, including General Instrument, MCI, Nextel, and XO Communications. His corporate management experience, private equity track record, and deep understanding of Carlyle’s global operation provided a strong foundation for his leadership of Carlyle’s buyout activities in Asia, Europe, Financial Services, Infrastructure, Japan, and the United States.
Prior to joining Carlyle, Akerson served in several key roles at MCI Communications Corporation from 1983-1993 including executive vice president and chief financial officer from 1987-1990 and president and chief operating officer from 1992-1993. During his tenure, Akerson formulated and executed MCI’s global strategy.
In 1993, Akerson became a general partner of private equity firm Forstmann Little & Company, during which time he served as chairman and chief executive officer of General Instrument Company from 1993-1995. While at General Instrument, he led a successful effort to develop and deploy the first digital video, satellite, and cable systems domestically and internationally.
Akerson served as chairman from 1996-2001 and as chief executive officer of Nextel Communications, Inc., from 1996-1999, where he transitioned the company from a regional analog walkie/talkie provider into a national digital wireless competitor. From late 1999 until January 2003, Akerson served as chairman and chief executive officer of XO Communications, Inc. where he led the successful restructuring of the company.
In addition to serving on GM's Board, Akerson also serves on the Boards of the American Express Company and the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation.
Akerson graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1970 with a bachelor of science in engineering. He earned his master’s of science in economics from the London School of Economics.