GM Names First Woman To Run Major Automaker

By: CNN (posted by Greg Palmer)
By: CNN (posted by Greg Palmer)

CNN Detroit General Motors on Tuesday promoted insider Mary Barra to serve as the new chief executive officer, the first female head of a major U.S. automaker.

Barra, an executive vice president and longtime GM veteran, will succeed current CEO Dan Akerson on January 15, the company said.

Akerson, 65, is retiring several months earlier than planned because his wife has an advanced stage of cancer, the automaker said.

The announcement comes a day after the U.S. Treasury Department said it had sold its final financial stake in General Motors, closing the book on its 2009 bailout of the auto industry.

GM (GM, Fortune 500) shares are up more than 40% so far this year. The company has earned nearly $20 billion in net income since 2010, the year it returned to profitability after emerging from bankruptcy.

Akerson became CEO in September 2010, and Barra will become GM's fifth CEO in less than five years.

Since August, Barra has served as executive vice president of global product development and global purchasing and supply chain, according to her company bio.

For more than two years before that, she was an executive VP focusing on international design, engineering, program management and quality. Prior to that, she was vice president of global human resources.

She has a masters in business administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, graduating in 1990 after receiving a GM fellowship. To top of page

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