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GM Names Mary Barra As First Female CEO

posted 10 Dec 2013, 10:39 by Mpelembe

General Motors' global product development chief Mary Barra will become the company's first female CEO, taking over from current CEO and chairman Dan Akerson in January 2014.

(GENERAL MOTORS HANDOUT) -  General Motors Co said on Tuesday (December 10) Chief Executive Officer Dan Akerson will step down next month and be replaced by global product development chief Mary Barra, who will become the first woman to lead a global automaker.

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The day after the U.S. Treasury announced it had sold the last of its GM shares, the company said in a statement that Akerson, who is also the chairman, will leave on January 15, moving forward his planned departure by several months. His wife was recently diagnosed with an advanced stage of cancer.

Barra, 51, GM's executive vice president for global product development, purchasing and supply chain, was elected by the board as the next CEO and will become a director. Theodore Solso, 66, will succeed Akerson, 65, as chairman.

With 33 years of experience at GM, Barra has risen through a series of manufacturing, engineering and senior staff positions, and is currently in charge of reducing the number of platforms on which GM builds its vehicles.

She was named one of both Forbes' and Fortune's most powerful women in business.