GM officially announced today that Dan Akerson will step down as chairman and CEO on January 15, 2014. The big surprise is that he will be replaced by Mary Barra, executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain, was elected. Moreover, Barra will also join the General Motors board.
According to the official press release, Akerson, 65, pulled ahead his succession plan by several months after his wife was recently diagnosed with an advanced stage of cancer. Thedore (Tim) Solso will succeed Akerson as Chairman.
“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 message to employees. Barra has 33 years of experience at General Motors and she has risen through a series of manufacturing, engineering, and senior staff positions. “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 Barra. “I’m honored to lead the best team in the business and to keep our momentum at full speed.” Dan Ammann, 41, executive vice president and chief financial officer, was named company president and will assume responsibility for managing the company’s regional operations around the world. [source: GM]