General Motors names Mary Barra as new CEO
Barra becomes the first woman to run a major automaker
Mary Barra who takes over as chief executive of General Motors next month fromDan Akerson. Photo: John F. Martin
General Motors today said chief executive Dan Akerson will step down next month and be replaced by Mary Barra, the company’s global product development chief, making her the first female CEO in the global automotive industry.
The company said in a statement that Mr Akerson, who is also the chairman, will leave on January 15th, pulling ahead his planned departure by several months. His wife was recently diagnosed with an advanced stage of cancer.
Ms Barra (51), the executive vice president for global product development, purchasing and supply chain, was elected by the company board as the next CEO and will become a director. Theodore Solso (66), will succeed Mr Akerson (65), as chairman.
Ms Barra’s career has included time as vice president of global manufacturing engineering, head of GM’s Detroit Hamtramck Assembly plant and executive director of competitive operations engineering. Before becoming GM’s first female product chief, she was the company’s top human-resources executive.
She started her career on a factory floor as a GM intern more than 30 years ago. The daughter of a Pontiac die maker she takes the helm of the US auto giant after the US government sold its stake in GM, giving her full freedom to take on domestic and Japanese manufacturers whose price competition threatens profit.