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Tim Solso '69 Appointed Chairman of General Motors Board

Tim Solso '69 Appointed Chairman of General Motors Board

December 10, 2013

Theodore "Tim" M. Solso, a 1969 graduate of DePauw University, was today appointed chairman of the board of directors of General Motors Co.  "Solso, 66, is the former chairman and CEO of Cummins Inc. and has been a member of the GM board since June 2012," reports the Los Angeles Times' Jerry Hirsch.

The move came as GM announced that its current chief executive, Dan Akerson, is stepping down to deal with the illness of his wife.  He'll be succeeded by Mary Barra, executive vice president for global product development, purchasing and supply chain for GM, who will become the first woman to lead a global automaker.

"Akerson said GM’s board thought it prudent to split the positions so that Barra could focus on running the company and operational challenges while Solso could deal with board issues," Hirsch writes.

Read more at the newspaper's website.

A psychology major at DePauw, Solso earned his M.B.A. from Harvard University. He served as chairman and CEO of Cummins for a dozen years (January 2000 until his retirement in December 2011). Under Solso's leadership, Cummins experienced record growth; became a Fortune 250 company that designs, produces and sells diesel engines, power generation equipment and related components worldwide; and became a global product provider to more than 190 countries and territories. Under Solso's guidance, Cummins became one of America's leading businesses in China, India and Brazil. Solso's leadership led to a leadership role for Cummins in environmentally-friendly and efficient engines and his support of robust Tim Solso 011g2diversity in the workplace also sparked progress among Cummins' customers and suppliers.

Among myriad honors and associations, Solso was named to Barron's list of the 30 Most Respected CEO's in 2010 and 2011. He has served as a member of the board for the Initiative for Global Development, Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Central Indiana Corporate Partnership and as a member of President Barack Obama's Management Advisory Board. In August, he was awarded the first biennial Mitch Daniels Leadership Prize.

A former member of DePauw's Board of Trustees, Tim Solso delivered the principal address to his alma mater's Class of 2011 and received an honorary doctoral degree at the University's 172nd annual commencement. A summary of his address, "What Will Be My Contribution?," including links to video and audio clips, can be found here. The speech is also embedded below.