The No. 2 job at the Pentagon is likely to go to Donald Atwood Jr., vice chairman of General Motors Corp., according to a published report.

The New York Times says Atwood, 63, is the top choice of John Tower, the defense secretary-designate, to be deputy secretary.Quoting unidentified officials involved in the transition to a new administration, the Times said Sunday that the list of candidates, headed by Atwood, includes William Paul, senior vice president for defense and space systems at United Technologies Corp., and Vincent Cook, a vice president of International Business Machines Corp.

The deputy has responsibility for the Pentagon's daily operation.