Kettering graduate Mary Barra to become new GM CEO

Dec 10, 2013

Mary Barra '85 will be the first female CEO of a major automaker.

Mary Barra '85Mary Barra ‘85 will be the new CEO of General Motors, succeeding the retiring Dan Akerson, the company announced on Dec. 10. Barra will be the first female CEO of a major automaker.

Barra, currently General Motors senior vice president, Global Product Development, delivered the charge to the graduates at Kettering University’s commencement ceremony in June 2013.

Related: See Mary Barra’s commencement address to Kettering graduates from June 2013.

Barra, a 1985 Kettering graduate, currently sits on the Kettering University Board of Trustees.

Barra was named Senior Vice President, Global Product Development in February 2011. She’s responsible for the design, engineering, program management and quality for General Motors’ vehicles around the world. She is a member of the Executive Operations Committee and serves on the Adam Opel AG Supervisory Board.

Prior to this, Barra was most recently vice president, Global Human Resources. She has also served as GM Vice President, Global Manufacturing Engineering; Plant Manager, Detroit Hamtramck Assembly; Executive Director of Competitive Operations Engineering; and has held several engineering and staff positions.

Barra began her career with GM in 1980 as a General Motors Institute (Kettering University) co-op student at the Pontiac Motor Division. She graduated in 1985 from Kettering University with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering. In 1988 Barra was awarded a GM fellowship and in 1990 she graduated from the Stanford Graduate School of Business with a Masters degree in Business Administration.

Currently, she serves on the General Dynamics and Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute Board of Directors. Barra is the Key Executive for Stanford University and University of California-Berkeley.

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