Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Kickass Woman of the Day: Mary Barra will make history at General Motors

DETROIT — A 51-year-old woman will make history at General Motors to ring in the new year.

Mary Barra, executive vice president of global product development of GM, will become CEO on January 2, 2014, the company announced. She will be the first female CEO in the history of the company that won 41 NASCAR manufacturer's championships, 26 driver's titles since the 1980s and 23 driver's championships since 1984.

Ms. Barra will takeover for Dan Akerson.  Mr. Akerson has moved up his retirement to December 31 due to his wife's failing health.

Ms. Barra was just barely legal when she joined GM as a co-op student in 1980.  She is currently 35th on Forbes' Most Powerful Women list.

"I'm honored to lead the best team in the business and to keep our momentum at full speed," Barra said in a statement.

Without naming names, Mr. Akerson hinted at the historic change and turning of the tide in leadership in September when he noted that dudes wouldn't always be the ones in charge of the country's biggest automakers. "Someday, there will be a Detroit Three that's run by a car gal," he said.

How prophetic for Mr. Akerson.  The automobile glass ceiling has been busted wide open.

[Lori Fradkin]

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