Mary Barra will succeed Dan Akerson as first female CEO of General Motors

On December 10th, General Motors announced that Dan Akerson will step down as chairman and CEO on Jan. 15, 2014. Under Akerson’s leadership, GM made swift progress as the company transformed from being majority owned by U.S. Treasury to being publicly traded and investment grade rated. 

Mary Barra, 51, executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain, was elected by the Board of Directors to become the next CEO of the company.  Barra will also join the GM Board.

Starting as an intern with the company, Barra has 33 years of experience at GM and has risen through a series of manufacturing, engineering, and senior staff positions. She is a leader in the company’s ongoing turnaround, revitalizing GM’s product development process resulting in the launch of critically acclaimed new products while delivering record product quality ratings and higher customer satisfaction. CNNMoney considers her one of the ten most powerful women in the auto industry and Fortune named her among the 50 most powerful women in business