GM Dan Akerson: woman executive a potential successor image

General Motors chief executive Dan Akerson said the automaker’s most senior woman executive is one of his potential successors.

The executive said Mary Barra, 50, the Detroit company’s global product development chief overseeing a $15 billion operation, is a candidate to succeed him.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if she were, but I wouldn’t handicap it today and I think there are a good number of candidates,” Akerson, 63, told a Wall Street Journal conference in Palm Beach, Florida, that discussed women in the economy.

At 50, the married mother of two teens is the highest ranking woman at GM and the entire auto industry.

“I don’t know that I’m a ‘car gal,’ but I know I love cars and trucks,” Barra said when asked the question on “Michigan Matters.”

During his first full year as CEO, Akerson earned a $1.7 million salary, GM said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

He also received about $6 million in salaried and restricted stock units.

General Motors employs 207,000 workers worldwide and 77,000 in the U.S.