Mary Teresa Barra (née Makela; born December 24, 1961) is the Chief Executive Officer and Chairperson of the General Motors Company. She has held the CEO position since January 15, 2014, and she is the first female CEO of a major global automaker. On December 10, 2013, GM named her to succeed Dan Akerson as Chief Executive Officer, and prior to that, Barra served as the Executive Vice President of Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain at General Motors.
Barra in Mexico, August 2014
|Born||Mary Teresa Makela
December 24, 1961
Royal Oak, Michigan, U.S.
|Alma mater||Kettering University
|Employer||General Motors Company|
|Board member of||9; General Dynamics, Stanford University Board of Trustees, Kettering University Board of Trustees|
|Spouse(s)||Anthony E. Barra|
Barra was born in Royal Oak, Michigan. Her father, Ray Makela, worked as a die maker at Pontiac for 39 years.  Barra's parents are of Finnish descent. Barra attended Waterford schools in Waterford, Michigan. She is a graduate of Waterford Mott High School.
Barra graduated from the General Motors Institute (now Kettering University), where she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering. She then attended Stanford Graduate School of Business on a GM fellowship, receiving her Masters in Business Administration degree in 1990.
Barra started working for General Motors at the age of 18 as a co-op student in 1980 and subsequently held a variety of engineering and administrative positions, including being manager of the Detroit/Hamtramck Assembly plant.
In February 2008, she became Vice President of Global Manufacturing Engineering. In July 2009 she advanced to the position of Vice President of Global Human Resources, which she held until February 2011, when she was named Executive Vice President of Global Product Development. The latter position included responsibilities for design; she has worked to reduce the number of automobile platforms in GM. In August 2013, her Vice President responsibility was extended to include Global Purchasing and Supply Chain.
During her first year as CEO, General Motors was forced to issue 84 safety recalls involving over 30 million cars. Barra was called before the Senate to testify about the recalls and deaths attributed to the faulty ignition switch. Barra and General Motors also came under suspicion of paying for awards to burnish the CEO and corporation's image during that time.
Awards and honorsEdit
Barra is married to consultant Tony Barra, whom she met while studying at Kettering University, and has two children. The family lives in Northville, a suburb of Detroit. She has named the Chevrolet Camaro and the Pontiac Firebird as her favorite cars.
Barra is a member of the General Dynamics Board of Directors. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Detroit Economic Club and as a member of The Business Council. She is also a member of the Stanford University Board of Trustees, the Stanford Graduate School of Business Advisory Council and the Board of Trustees for the Detroit Country Day School.
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|url=value (help). Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 2013-12-11.
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