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Carlyle Says Former GM CEO Akerson Returns as Vice Chairman

Carlyle Group LP named Dan Akerson, who stepped down as chief executive officer of General Motors Co. in January, to the role of vice chairman of the board of directors and special adviser.

Akerson joined Carlyle March 1 in the private-equity firm’s Washington headquarters and will give operational, investment and management guidance to the investment teams, firm management and the board, Carlyle said today in a statement.

Akerson, 65, worked at Carlyle as its head of global buyouts and co-head of U.S. buyouts before joining GM in 2009 as a government representative to the board after its rescue by the U.S. His relationship with Carlyle dates to the 1980s, when he was president and chief operating officer of MCI Communications Corp., the telecommunications company where William Conway was chief financial officer. Conway in 1987 founded Carlyle with Daniel D’Aniello and David Rubenstein.

Akerson, a U.S. Navy veteran, became CEO of GM in 2010 and helped shepherd the Detroit-based automaker through its final years of government ownership, including overseeing its initial public offering. He stepped down from his role in January to take care of his wife, Karin, who’s battling cancer. He was succeeded by Mary Barra.

“His remarkable depth of leadership experience will be a great asset to the board and our investment teams,” D’Aniello, chairman of the Carlyle board, said in the statement.

Carlyle oversees $189 billion in assets. The firm began as a group buying parts of aerospace and defense companies and grew to do leveraged buyouts of companies in telecommunications, transportation, consumer, retail, health care and energy. It also oversees real estate, credit and hedge funds.

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