Top Gear Philippines

New General Motors CEO Mary Barra

General Motors will get its first-ever female chief executive in Mary Barra, who currently serves as the American car company's executive vice president for global product development, purchasing and supply chain. Barra will be replacing current CEO Dan Akerson, who will step down from the role on January 15, 2014.

Barra began her career at GM in 1980 as a General Motors Institute (now known as Kettering University) co-op student with the automotive conglomerate's Pontiac Motor Division, before graduating with a degree in electrical engineering in 1985. She was named senior vice president for global product development in February 2011, and in August 2013 assumed responsibility for GM's global purchasing and supply chain organization.

"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 in a statement. "I'm honored to lead the best team in the business and to keep our momentum at full speed."

Barra's ascension to her new role echoes that of female executives who have assumed the top post in local automotive companies: Maricar Parco for Asian Carmakers Corporation (BMW); Ginia Domingo for Columbian Autocar Corporation (Kia); Kay Hart for Ford Philippines; and Fe Perez-Agudo for Hyundai Asia Resources Inc.

Cheers to the fairer sex taking charge of what was once a male-dominated industry.

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