Mary Barra will take over as CEO of General Motors in January. An electrical engineer, she began her career as a co-op student at GM. Credit: Martin; GM.
Another “glass ceiling” was shattered today with General Motors’ announcement that Mary Barra will take over as CEO when Daniel Akerson retires January 15, 2014. Barra is GM’s executive vice president of global product development, purchasing, and supply chain.
Barra is an electrical engineer and got her undergraduate degree from Kettering University. She started her career at GM 33 years ago as a General Motors Institute co-op student working in the Pontiac Motor Division. Along the way she picked up an MBA from Stanford.
According to the press release, her career trajectory includes “a series of manufacturing, engineering, and senior staff positions. She is a leader in the company’s ongoing turnaround, revitalizing GM’s product development process resulting in the launch of critically acclaimed new products while delivering record product quality ratings and higher customer satisfaction.” In the release, Barra says, “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. I’m honored to lead the best team in the business and to keep our momentum at full speed.”
From co-op to CEO—that’s quite a career path, and a great example to all aspiring engineers. Congratulations to Ms. Barra!