Mary Barra, 52, was officially named the new Chief Executive Officer of General Motors (GM) last Wednesday making her the first woman ever to run a global automotive company. She now leads the company's overall effort to globally strengthen GM in automotive design and technology, product quality, customer care and business result. 

With Dan Ankerson's resignation, Barra will now take over the reigns of the company that Ankerson guided out of 4 years of U.S. government ownership. In a press release, GM stated that the reason for Ankerson's resignation was due to the condition of his wife being diagnosed with an advanced stage of cancer.

Prior to her current position, Barra served as a Senior Vice President for Global Product Development since Febuary 2011 and became an Executive Vice President in Global Product Development and Purchasing & Supply Chain since August 2013. Undertaking these roles, Barra was responsible for the design, engineering, program management and quality of GM vehicles around the world. She was also a member of the GM Executive Operations Committee and served on the Adam Opel AG Supervisory Board. Barra had previously been Vice President, Global Human Resources.

Barra's GM career began 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 1990, Barra graduated with a master of business administration degree from the Stanford Graduate School of Business after receiving a GM fellowship in 1988.

She now leads GM that has a strong sales momentum around the world. Former GM Vice-Chairman, Bob Lutz says he's not surprised she rose to the top job.

Chuck Stevens

Aside from Barra, GM also named Chuck Stevens as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. He replaces Dan Ammann who now becomes company president. Stevens was previously CFO of GM North America. In his new position, he will be responsible for the company’s global financial and accounting operations.