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Mary Barra, CEO of GM

Mary Barra, GM's New CEO, Is The Company's First Female Chief

GM has a new boss: a powerful executive promoted from inside its ranks.

General Motors has just named its new chief executive officer, Mary Barra. Barra replaces Dan Akerson, who recently announced his retirement after the Treasury Department sold its remaining GM shares.

Formerly GM's EVP of Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain, Barra was critically positioned to shape the future of the car-making giant via its future designs and its sprawling supplier network. Speaking to Fast Company in late 2011, Barra claimed she didn't consider herself a designer, but understood the complex mix of aesthetics and engineering design that making brand-new cars requires: "When we look at designs ... We're also looking at: It's beautiful, but can we build it? And can we build it consistently with quality?"

By late 2012, Akerson had already named her among the favorites to be his predecessor, and she told Fast Company that "cars and trucks are exciting and an important part of people's lives ... It’s in my blood. I want GM to succeed." At the time, she seemed extremely comfortable in her role, pointing out that she had "the best job in the company already. I am surrounded by great new cars, trucks, and cross-overs every day, and I play a role in bringing new innovations and vehicle designs to life."

Barra was already the highest ranking woman executive in GM's history, and considered one of the most influential women in the manufacturing world. Her status is now considerably higher. She takes control of GM as the company addresses the realities of the 21st century, which includes designing and producing newer, smarter, and more efficient cars faster than before.

[Photo courtesy of GM]

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  • Windycitynews

    LOS ALAMOS, New Mexico, April 22, 2011—Los Alamos National Laboratory
    scientists have developed a way to avoid the use of expensive platinum
    in hydrogen fuel cells, the environmentally friendly devices that might
    replace current power sources in everything from personal data devices
    to automobiles.

  • Windycitynews

    Will Mary Barra be able to get GM Vice Chariman Steve Girsky straightened out about hydrogen fuel cell technology?

    In July 2013 it was reported "One barrier to their widespread
    adoption is the high cost of the platinum needed to kick-start the
    chemical reaction within the fuel cell. The platinum alone adds
    thousands of dollars in costs to each vehicle."

    GM, Honda to jointly develop hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles by 2020

    http://www.reuters.com/article...

    In April 2011 US Department of Energy press release addressed this platinum concern:

    LOS ALAMOS, New Mexico, April 22, 2011—Los Alamos National Laboratory
    scientists have developed a way to avoid the use of expensive platinum
    in hydrogen fuel cells, the environmentally friendly devices that might
    replace current power sources in everything from personal data devices
    to automobiles.

    http://www.lanl.gov/newsroom/n...

    It's not a secret.

  • Seamus

    The bailout of General Motors ended Monday after the Treasury department sold its final shares in the automaker, losing $10.5 billion on the $49.5 billion bailout. GM had sold a 60 percent ownership stake to the government in 2009 instead of paying back $40 billion it borrowed during bankruptcy.

    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss...