Kent Kresa ’59, SM ’61, EEA ’66, has taken one of the least comfortable seats of industrial power in the U.S., reported earlier today. He has been appointed as General Motors’ interim chairman by President Obama’s auto task force. Already a GM director, he will focus on replacing a majority of the board as required by the task force in time for a vote at GM’s August annual meeting.

Ken Kresa, courtesy BusinessWeek

Kent Kresa, photo BusinessWeek

Kresa’s quiet but stellar reputation for corporate salvage and successful mergers made him a prime candidate. He masterminded the successful turn around of Northrop Grumman in the 1990s despite severe contraction in the industry. The company became a $28 billion enterprise under his guidance. His three MIT degrees are in aero/astro.

According to a 2002 BusinessWeek article on the top 25 managers of the year, Kresa grew up in a show-biz family. His father was songwriter Irving Berlin’s chief assistant, and Kresa was a child actor. He certainly will be on stage again in this job!