General Motors Co. has appointed Mary Barra as its next chief
executive officerthe first female to head a global
Barra, who currently
is executive vice president of global product development,
purchasing and supply chain, will replace Daniel F. Akerson
when he steps down as chairman and chief executive officer Jan.
As a leader of a major
U.S. corporation, Barra will join an elite group of women that
includes Marissa Mayer at Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Yahoo! Inc.
and Meg Whitman at Palo Alto, Calif.-based Hewlett-Packard
Barra, 51, began her
career at GM in 1980. She has overseen GM global vehicle
development since February 2011 after previously serving as
vice president of global manufacturing engineering, manager of
the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant and executive director of
competitive operations engineering, as well as holding several
engineering and staff positions.
Detroit-based GM said
Barra has been instrumental in the companys recovery
since its Chapter 11 reorganization in June 2009, revitalizing
GMs product development process while delivering record
product quality ratings and higher customer satisfaction.
"With an amazing
portfolio of cars and trucks and the strongest financial
performance in our recent history, this is an exciting time at
todays GM," Barra said. "Im honored to lead the
best team in the business and to keep our momentum at full