Mary Barra to Become General Motors’ Next CEO
Dan Akerson will retire from his role as General Motors Chairman and CEO, to be replaced by Mary Barra, currently GM Executive Vice President, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain. Barra was elected by the Board of Directors to replace Akerson when he steps down on January 15, 2014.
“With an amazing portfolio of cars and trucks and the strongest financial performance in our recent history, this is an exciting time at today’s GM,” said Barra at the December 10th town hall meeting where the news was announced. “I’m honored to lead the best team in the business and to keep our momentum at full speed.”
AskPatty salutes Barra for her great accomplishment of becoming the first female CEO of an American auto manufacturer! In her 33 years at General Motors, Barra has risen through a series of manufacturing, engineering, and senior staff positions. She is recognized by General Motors as a leader in the company’s ongoing turnaround, revitalizing the company’s product development process resulting in the launch of critically acclaimed new products while delivering record product quality ratings and higher customer satisfaction. Just last month, Barra was ranked in the Number One position on Fortune magazine’s list of the most powerful women in the auto industry. Barra is married with two children and was born December 24, 1961.
Under Akerson’s leadership, GM was transformed from being majority-owned by the U.S. Treasury to being publicly traded and investment grade rated. That chapter of General Motors’ history was closed this week, when the Treasury sold the last of its remaining 31.1 million GM shares. (It started with 500 million shares in 2010.)
“My goals as CEO were to put the customer at the center of every decision we make, to position GM for long term success and to make GM a company that America can be proud of again,” Akerson said. “We are well down that path, and I’m certain that our new team will keep us moving in that direction.”
Akerson was named GM Chairman and CEO on September 1, 2010. He joined GM in 2009 as a member of its Board of Directors. Since the company’s November 2010 Initial Public Offering, GM has recorded 15 consecutive quarters of profitability, has earned this year the best overall initial vehicle quality scores of any auto manufacturer, and has re-invested nearly $9 billion and created or retained more than 25,000 jobs at its U.S plants.
Akerson advanced his succession plan by several months because his wife was recently diagnosed with an advanced stage of cancer.