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Mary Barra named new CEO of GM, Auto Industry's first female chief executive

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51 year old, Mary Barra was announced as the new Chief Executive Officer of General Motors and becoming the first woman to lead a global automaker on Tuesday.

Barra will be replacing the current General Motors Co-Chief Executive Officer Dan Akerson, who will be stepping down from his role next month on January 15, 2014. Working at GM since 1980, Barra has over 33 years of experience in engineering, senior management, manufacturing and the current role of executive vice president of global product development chief.

Akerson, had planned to leave his position by mid- to late-2014, but chose to accelerate his exit after learning about his wife's advanced stage of cancer. Under the reign of Akerson, GM focused on eliminating its inefficiencies, recovered its investment grade credit rating and increasing fuel efficiency automobile options available on the market since the recession.

Listed as the world's 35th most powerful women in Forbes Magazine, she will become GM's fifth CEO in less than five years. The executive vice president for global product development, purchasing and supply chain was elected through the General Motors board.

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