US car maker General Motors today said that Mary Barra will take over as the company's Chief Executive Officer (CEO), becoming the first woman to lead a major automobile corporation.
In a major restructuring of its top executive brass, General Motors said Mary Barra, 51, will succeed Dan Akerson who will step down as chairman and CEO on January 15, 2014.
Akerson had guided General Motors to profits and improvement in vehicle quality while closing the chapter on government ownership in the company.
Mary Barra is currently the executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain and was elected by the Board of Directors to become the next CEO of the company.
Mary Barra will also join the General Motors Board.
With 33 years of experience at GM, Mary Barra has risen through a series of manufacturing, engineering, and senior staff positions.
The company said she has been a leader in GM's ongoing turnaround, revitalising its product development process while delivering product quality ratings and 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 Mary Barra.
"I'm honoured to lead the best team in the business and to keep our momentum at full speed."
Theodore Solso will succeed Akerson as Chairman.
Solso, 66, is the former chairman and CEO of power generation equipment manufacturer Cummins and has been a member of the GM Board since June 2012.
GM's executive vice president and chief financial officer Dan Ammann, 41 was named company president and will assume responsibility for managing the company's regional operations around the world.
Under Akerson's leadership, GM made swift progress as the company transformed from being majority owned by US Treasury to being publicly traded and investment grade rated.
"My goals as CEO were to put the customer at the centre 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 in September 2010.
Since the company's November 2010 Initial Public Offering, GM re-invested nearly USD 9 billion and created or retained more than 25,000 jobs at its US plants.