Tuesday, December 10, 2013

General Motors' Names First Female CEO

Making history: Mary Barra, first woman CEO of GM

General Motors's Board of Directors has elected Mary Barra, 51, executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain, as the next CEO of the company. The current chairman and CEO, Dan Akerson, who guided the company to record profits and dramatic improvement in vehicle quality while closing the chapter on government ownership in the company, will step down on Jan. 15, 2014.

Akerson, 65, accelerated his succession plan by several months after his wife was recently diagnosed with an advanced stage of cancer.
With 33 years of experience at GM, Barra 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.
“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. “I’m honored to lead the best team in the business and to keep our momentum at full speed.”
The Board also named Theodore (Tim) Solso to succeed Akerson as Chairman.  Solso, 66, is the former chairman and CEO of Cummins, Inc., and has been a member of the GM Board since June 2012.
Dan Ammann, 41, executive vice president and chief financial officer, was named company president and will assume responsibility for managing the company’s regional operations around the world.  The global Chevrolet and Cadillac brand organizations and GM Financial will also report to Ammann.
Ammann joined GM in 2010 where his first assignment was to manage GM’s initial public offering. As CFO, he has led a transformation of GM’s finance operations into a world-class organization.  He also led the strategy to rebuild the company’s captive finance capability through the successful establishment and growth of GM Financial.
“We have a significant opportunity to further integrate and optimize our operations to deliver even better results,” said Ammann.  “While we have made good progress, we still have much work ahead of us to realize GM’s full potential.”
Ammann will retain CFO responsibilities at least through the release of the company’s fourth quarter and full-year 2013 results in early February 2014.  His replacement as CFO will be named later.
Under Akerson’s leadership, GM made swift progress as the company transformed from being majority owned by the U.S. Treasury to being publicly traded and investment grade rated.
“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.


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