December 11th, 2013
09:42 AM ET

GM Names Mary Barra First Woman CEO to Run Major Automaker

General Motors on Tuesday promoted insider Mary Barra to serve as the new chief executive officer, the first female head of a major U.S. automaker.

Barra, an executive vice president and 33-year GM veteran, will succeed current CEO Dan Akerson on January 15, the company said.

Akerson, 65, is retiring several months earlier than planned because his wife has an advanced stage of cancer, the automaker said.

Assistant Managing Editor for "FORTUNE" Magazine Leigh Gallagher weighed in on the new female CEO on "New Day" Wednesday saying, "She’s very competitive. She has said, 'We don’t want to enter a segment just to be in it, we want to win it.'"

In addition to selecting Barra, the board of directors on Tuesday named Theodore "Tim" Solso to succeed Akerson as chairman.

Akerson became CEO in September 2010, and Barra will become GM's fifth CEO in less than five years.

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