Mary Barra to follow path paved by Dan Akerson

Article by Anita Panait, on January 29, 2014

New General Motors chief executive Mary Barra will continue the path laid out by former CEO Dan Akerson.  During her first in-depth media briefing as CEO, Barra said that there will be "no right or left turns" from the course. She plans to "accelerate" GM's momentum by getting its regional operations on the same page; maintaining its strong balance sheet; and highlighting brand health over short-term gains in market share. "We're no longer just looking for viability," Barra said. "We're looking for growth and leadership in the operations that we have around the globe." Barra became a successor to a company that is thriving after almost three-and-a-half years of care under Akerson, who retired in January 2014 to take care of his sick wife.

Redesigned models like the Chevrolet Impala and Cadillac CTS have won a number of accolades and GM's vehicle quality and customer satisfaction rankings leveled up.

GM also logged 15 profitable quarters in a row and recently reinstated a quarterly dividend. During the media briefing, Barra explained the thinking behind the new executive setup that GM outlined with her appointment in December.

GM has restored the position of president, now held by Dan Ammann, to serve as the No. 2 to oversee GM's regional presidents and the bosses of Chevrolet and Cadillac. GM also named Tim Solso as nonexecutive chairman. [source: automotive news - sub. required]

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