General Motors will replace CEO Dan Akerson with current product development and quality boss Mary Barra.
Barra, 51, is a more than 30-year veteran of the company and will become the first female CEO in the global automotive industry. Other potential replacements included North American president Mark Reuss, CFO Dan Ammann and vice chairman Steve Girsky.
Akerson will retire from his position as GM’s chief executive on January 15, following the press preview of the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
“I will leave with great satisfaction in what we have accomplished, great optimism over what is ahead and great pride that we are restoring General Motors as America’s standard bearer in the global auto industry,” Akerson said in a statement.
Yesterday, the U.S. Government sold its remaining shares in General Motors, marking a roughly $10 billion loss for taxpayers.
“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.”
Mark Ruess will replace Barra in her role as the executive vice president of global product development, purchasing and supply chain. Ammann is now the company’s president and will remain CFO. Meanwhile, Alan Batey will replace Reuss as GM’s North American president.
Vice chairman Steve Girsky will leave the company in April, 2014, but will move to a senior advisor role until then. GM also said he will remain on the board of directors.
Akerson reportedly pushed the succession plan ahead by months after his wife was diagnosed with advanced stage cancer.
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