Edward E. 'Ed' Whitacre, Jr.

Edward E. 'Ed' Whitacre, Jr.

We've heard discussions of alternatives for the top executive spot at General Motors from board chairman Ed Whitacre himself over the past few months, but today Whitacre announced that he'll be taking the job himself at the request of the board. Already the interim CEO at GM, the announcement should mean little in the way of change.

Whitacre's appointment comes after two months of searching for an outside candidate, one of which was rumored to be Apple COO Tim Cook, though when asked directly about Cook's potential for the job earlier this month, Whitacre responded simply, "who is he?" GM's new CFO, Chris Liddell, was also mentioned as a candidate for the job.

But now that Whitacre has taken the reins, it looks like stability is what won the day. GM's hampered ability to entice outsiders with fat compensation packages due to conditions on its restructuring from the government may also have played a role in the board's decision. Whitacre didn't define the term of his position at CEO, but indicated that it would likely last at least two to three years.

In the press conference announcing the decision, Whitacre laid out recent steps the company has taken to consolidate its place within the market, cutting brands and focusing efforts on its core vehicles. Whitacre also announced that GM would be repaying the U.S. and Canadian government loans by June, and that GM would be offering an IPO later this year, once the market and GM are primed.