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Edward Whitacre Jr., 67, will replace Kent Kresa, but Kresa will remain GM’s interim chairman until the automaker emerges from bankruptcy protection as a new entity majority-owned by the U.S. government.

GM filed for bankruptcy last week as part of a government-aided restructuring which will result in some 20,000 more job cuts by the end of 2011 and leave the U.S. as the majority owner of the company.

Whitacre, 67, was chairman and CEO of AT&T and its predecessor companies from 1990 to 2007, when he retired with a $158 million package. During his tenure, which began with Southwestern Bell, Whitacre led the company through a series of mergers and acquisitions - including the 2005 AT&T acquisition which created the nation's largest provider of local, long-distance and wireless services
 
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