With little time to waste, CEO Ed Whitacre accelerates changes at GM

In fashioning a new way forward for General Motors, Chairman and interim CEO Ed Whitacre has a formidable task ahead of him. In addition to finding new leadership to help reverse GM's decades-long slide, Whitacre must focus on getting new products to market, repairing the venerable automaker's image with skeptical consumers and improving relationships with dealers angered over the recent shuttering of hundreds of showrooms across the country.

But if there is one thing Whitacre "gets," it's something that his predecessor, Frederick "Fritz" Henderson, who suddenly resigned last week, seemingly didn't -- that Detroit-based GM needs to accelerate its turnaround. Just within the few last days, Whitacre has named new management in key posts and has narrowed his search for a new chief financial officer, which he hopes to name within the next few weeks.