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GM Appoints Mary Barra to Lead Global Product Development


DETROIT – General Motors today named Mary Barra senior vice president, Global Product Development, to lead the design, engineering, program management and quality of vehicles for the company’s 11 brands around the world.

“Mary will bring a fresh perspective to the critically important job of developing vehicles that delight global customers,” said Dan Akerson, GM Chairman and CEO. “Her broad experience in engineering, manufacturing and staff functions, combined with the ability to collaborate and build strong relationships will enhance the company’s ability to deliver the products today’s consumers demand.”

Barra will lead the Product Development organization responsible for managing all global vehicle programs for GM. In this position, she will continue to focus on the customer in the areas of global design, vehicle and powertrain engineering, program management and quality with the goal of delivering the world’s best vehicles. With more than 36,000 members, her team will also manage global strategic product alliances.

“Knowing that today’s global customer expects even more from their GM vehicle means we have to work harder than ever to exceed those expectations,” said Barra. “I’m excited by the opportunity associated with this new challenge and pleased to be joining such a strong team with deep technical knowledge and experience.”

Recognized for bringing diverse groups together for a common purpose, Barra was appointed vice president, Global Human Resources in 2009, to initiate change in the company’s culture during the largest restructuring in GM’s history. Prior to this appointment, she had been vice president, Global Manufacturing Engineering. Barra has also held a number of engineering and staff positions, including plant manager, Detroit Hamtramck Assembly Plant; executive director of Competitive Operations Engineering; and general director of Internal Communications for GM North America.

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

She serves on the Kettering University Board of Trustees and Inforum Center for Leadership Board of Directors. Barra is also Key Executive for Stanford University.

Barra was named one of Automotive News’ 100 Leading Women in the North American Auto Industry” in 2005, and again in 2010. In 2010, she also earned Kettering Alumni Association’s Management Achievement Award for her specific contributions with positive and lasting effects in the field of management.

Barra, 49, will continue to report to Akerson and serve on the Executive Committee. Her move becomes effective Feb. 1.

A successor for Barra in Global Human Resources will be announced at a later date.


About General Motors – General Motors Company (NYSE: GM, TSX: GMM), one of the world’s largest automakers, traces its roots back to 1908. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 209,000 people in every major region of the world and does business in more than 120 countries. GM and its strategic partners produce cars and trucks in 31 countries, and sell and service these vehicles through the following brands: Baojun, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall, and Wuling. GM’s largest national market is China, followed by the United States, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Italy, Russia, Mexico, and Uzbekistan. GM’s OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. General Motors acquired operations from General Motors Corporation on July 10, 2009, and references to prior periods in this and other press materials refer to operations of the old General Motors Corporation. More information on the new General Motors can be found at


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