The Detroit car giant came close to collapse in 2009 as the financial crisis took hold, and was forced to file for bankruptcy, relying on a $51bn US government bailout.
But the company has seen a remarkable turnaround, with the firm recording pre-tax profits of $4.2bn for 2014. It is on the back of this success that Wilson requested the board use some of its $25bn cash pile to fund an $8bn buy back of shares.
Wilson, who served on President Barack Obama’s car industry taskforce, had been pushing for buyback alongside four hedge funds.
In addition, Wilson had been seeking a seat on the board, a request he has subsequently dropped in the wake of the new announcement.