GM CEO Akerson Announces Retirement; Barra to be First Woman to Lead GM

By | December 10, 2013
More major executive changes are in the works for General Motors, and the latest announcements are the biggest ones yet. GM CEO Dan Akerson, who navigated the way out of bankruptcy and transitioned the company out of government ownership, announced he will retire beginning January 15, 2014. His replacement was named as Mary Barra, a 33-year GM veteran. Barra, 51, will be the first female head of a major American car company--or any major automaker that we can think of. Throughout her career at GM, she has worked in manufacturing and engineering before taking senior staff positions. Her current position is arguably the most important senior position at GM other than CEO. She currently is billed as senior vice president for global product development, purchasing, and supply chain, a role that puts her in charge of new vehicle introductions such as the Silverado, Impala, and others that have been critical in reviving GM. She is in charge of design, engineering, and quality across global products and, according to GM, has been integral in increasing customer satisfaction ratings. Replacing Barra will be current North American GM head Mark Reuss. Meanwhile, Alan Batey, branding chief, will replace Reuss. Dan Ammann, executive vice president and chief financial officer, will take charge as company president. Theodore Solso will take over as chairman.
According to GM, Akerson's decision to retire is personal. He pushed up his retirement plans by several months because his wife was diagnosed with an advanced stage of cancer, GM said in a statement. He led the company to 15 consecutive quarters of profitability. Source: GM