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GM CEO Dan Akerson to Step Down; Mary Barra to Take His Place

© General Motors(DETROIT) -- General Motors CEO Dan Akerson will be stepping down from his position next month, the company announced on Tuesday.

Replacing him will be Mary Barra, GM's executive vice president of global product development, purchasing and supply chain. She will be the first female CEO of a major automotive firm.

“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,” Barra said in a statement. “I’m honored to lead the best team in the business and to keep our momentum at full speed.”

The 51-year-old, who has worked at GM for 33 years, was elected as the next CEO by the company's board of directors.

Akerson, 65, made the decision to leave his post on Jan. 15, 2014, after his wife was diagnosed with an advanced stage of cancer, GM said.

In a message to employees, Akerson said: “I will leave with great satisfaction in what we have accomplished, great optimism over what is ahead and great pride that we are restoring General Motors as America’s standard bearer in the global auto industry.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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