General Motors appoints new CEO

Mary Barra GM CEO
11 Dec, 2013 3:05pm Tom Phillips

Mary Barra becomes first female CEO of a carmaker as Dan Akerson retires

General Motors has announced that its current CEO, Dan Akerson, will retire on January 15, 2014. Mary Barra, the current executive vice president of Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain, will succeed him.

• Vauxhall news and reviews

• Chevrolet news and reviews

Barra is highly regarded in the industry, and will also join the GM board. She becomes the first female CEO of a carmaker as a result.

Dan Akerson is 65 and planned to retire later in 2014. However, a statement from GM confirmed that he had made the decision to bring this date forward as his wife has been recently diagnosed with an advanced stage of cancer.

Barra, 51, has been an employee of GM since 1980, where she joined as a student at the Pontiac division. She has worked her way up the ranks, and held the post of head of Global Human Resources, before her current role.

She is credited with helping lead GM’s turnaround through the recent recession, and a statement says she has been a key player in “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.”

On her appointment, she said: “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.”

“I’m honoured to lead the best team in the business and to keep our momentum at full speed.”

However, before leaving GM, Akerson has decided to call time on car production in Australia by the end of 2017. GM cites the strength of the Aussie dollar, high cost of production and small local market as reasons for the decision.

As a result, approximately 2,900 manufacturing jobs will go, although GM will retain a global design studio in Australia. It will still sell Holden in Australia beyond 2017, although these will be imported from other markets.

Disqus - noscript

Oh GM what have you done?!
What will the new CEO's priority be? Development of 'self park technology'?

Any colour as long as it pink? Only joking.

She in an engineer so it could be good news for GM, hope she can improve the rather drab dull cars they sell in Europe. Clarkson - when you mention the word Vauxhall you instantly think dull & boring.

First announcements Chevrolet Europe is axed in 2015 that were never going to complete with Dacia's at 1/3 of the price, and Holden got the 2017 chop today as well no more v8s..

I wouldn't say Vauxhall sell drab or dull cars - not in looks anyway. I would say they are better than Fords these days, and thats not coming from a fanboy or owner.

GM has too many short comings bit ironic seeing this company been around since the dinasaur age and has history more than enough time to learn from mistakes, gain experience, money etc...chevrolet axed in Europe, holden stop building cars in Aus, they dont like making RHD cars in US, 'costs of conversion' 'tooling costs' blah blah blah....if this dont change i dont care if they got or get new CEO every month lol