Mary Barra is GM’s new CEO [video] image

General Motors, the largest carmaker in the United States named Mary Barra as the company’s next CEO. Dan Akerson, 65, the actual CEO of GM will retire on January next year according to the official statement.

Mary Barra, 51 joined General Motors in 1980, at age 18, as a General Motors Institute (Kettering University) co-op student at the Pontiac Motor Division, and at this moment she is senior vice president for global product development – probably one of the most important positions.

She is the first female CEO to run an automotive company. Back in August, Forbes Magazine ranked Barra as the 41st most powerful woman in the world.

“With an amazing portfolio of cars and trucks and the strongest financial performance in our recent history, this is an exciting time at today’s GM,” said Barra. “I’m honored to lead the best team in the business and to keep our momentum at full speed.”

The announcement comes just one day after the Obama administration announced that it has sold its remaining shares in the Detroit carmaker. Therefore, at this moment GM is free, but the federal gov ended up losing $10.5 billion.

In addition to GM, the federal government lost an additional $1.3 billion on its bailout to Chrysler.

GM shares were down about 0.71% , one hour after the announcement.