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Barra Takes Over As GM's CEO

January 15, 2014

Photo courtesy of GM.
Photo courtesy of GM.

Mary Barra formally took over as General Motors Corp.'s new CEO Wednesday, following her appearance at the Detroit auto show.

Barra's week began Sunday, when she addressed a crowd of journalists at Detroit's Cobo Center, saying she wants to continue building strong brands with a streamlined GM.

"I am honored to stand up here tonight and humbled to lead the global GM team," Barra said.

Barra presided over the unveiling of the 2015 GMC Canyon mid-size pickup, a cousin to the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado introduced at the Los Angeles Auto Show. GM reentered the mid-size pickup truck segment, after seeing a an unmet need, she said.

"To get the features, content and amenities they're looking for, [customers] have had to either leave the segment—most often to a compact crossover or car—or choose from a limited selection," Barra said. "To us, that's no way to treat a customer. That's opportunity knocking."

On Tuesday, she toured the North American International Auto Show with departing chief Dan Akerson, who retired after serving three years at the top of GM.

Barra, 52, delivered a video message to employees Wednesday, which the Detroit News called her "coronation day." In the video message, Barra urged GM employees to keep up the momentum, reports Forbes.

GM also added to more pieces to the executive leadership team, naming Chuck Stevens as executive vice president and chief financial officer and John Stapleton as North America chief financial officer. Stevens replaces Dan Ammann who becomes company president. Stapleton steps into Stevens former role. He was previously chief financial officer of GM global manufacturing.

GM also announced that Steven Hill has been named vice president of U.S. sales and service. GM's top fleet executive, Ed Peper, reports to Hill.

Barra was appointed as the first female to lead a global automotive brand on Dec. 10.


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