Will a woman soon be the head of the world's largest automaker? Dan Akerson, CEO of General Motors Co., has confirmed that this is possible since Mary Barra, the company’s highest-ranking female executive, is being considered as a potential successor. Akerson said that women are capable of dealing with changes better than men and that GM has many more changes to undertake since its 2009 bankruptcy and it was bailed out by the government for $50 billion.
Akerson said that GM wants its female executives to go up in its ranks. He said that 50-year-old Barra, who currently serves as the global product development chief and a member of Opel's supervisory board, is a contender for the topmost position.
However, Akerson said that there are “a good number of candidates” being considered. When Akerson made these statements, he was attending a conference on Monday in Palm Beach, Florida, that talked about women in the economy.
Akerson also said that it wasn’t his job to choose a replacement. Instead, the board will decide. Akerson revealed that the U.S. Treasury, which possesses slightly higher than 25% of GM's outstanding stock, was not part of its decision-making.
With regards to the question on taxpayers getting their money back, he said that he doesn’t know. Akerson, who started to lead the company as it emerged from bankruptcy, has said that he prefers that the next CEO would come from within GM.
He didn’t provide a time frame for his exit but he said that he would remain there as long as he continued to contribute and the board wanted him. Analysts said that the other candidates being considered are Vice Chairman Steve Girsky, a member of Opel's board, and North American operations chief Mark Reuss.