GM appoints CEO Mary Barra as chairman of the board image

The General Motors Board of Directors has announced on Monday it has unanimously elected Mary Barra as its next Chairman, effective immediately.

Mary Barra, chief executive officer of General Motors, become on Monday chairman of the board of directors for the biggest Detroit carmaker and for the world’s third-largest automaker. She was named CEO nearly two years ago, on January 15, 2014. Former chairman Tim Solso, who had been in that position for the last couple of years, will continue serving as the Board’s Lead Independent Director, a job he had prior to the retirement of former chairman and CEO Dan Akerson.

“At a time of unprecedented industry change, the Board concluded it is in the best interest of the company to combine the roles of Chair and CEO in order to drive the most efficient execution of our plan and vision for the future,” said Solso. “With GM consistently delivering on its targets and on track to generate significant value for its shareholders, this is the right time for Mary to assume this role.”

Not everyone welcomed her appointment as GM’s CEO in 2014, questioning the decision to give such authority over to a woman. But Barra has proven her strengths by handling wisely one of the biggest scandals to face the Detroit maker in decades. Only one month after her naming, GM announced a series of recalls covering 2.4 million vehicles equipped with a faulty ignition switch.

Prior to being named CEO in 2014, she served as executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing & Supply Chain since August 2013 and as senior vice president, Global Product Development since February 2011. In these roles, she was responsible for the design, engineering, program management and quality of GM vehicles around the world. “I am honoured to serve as Chair of the Board of Directors. With the support of our Board, we will continue to drive shareholder value by improving our core business and leading in the transformation of personal mobility,” Bara said in a statement.