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General Motors is naming Mary Barra as its new CEO- and its first female CEO - to succeed Dan Akerson on January 15th. The choice was not unexpected. In her current role as Executive Vice President of Global Product Development, Barra is well known as a hard driving executive who has pushed the company to high standards of quality. The 51-year old Barra, an engineer by trade, was already the highest ranking woman in the auto industry. The auto industry is a family business- her dad worked for General Motors for close to 40 years. Mary Barra was named one of both Forbes and Fortune's Most Powerful women in business.