Outgoing General Motors CEO Dan Akerson revealed during a speech on Wednesday that he recommended to General Motors board that Mary Barra be his successor. The appointment of Barra came last month after Akerson cut his three year tenure short by several months citing personal reasons. Barra takes over as CEO on Jan. 15.
Akerson believes the appointment of Barra changed GM’s image overnight into that of a more progressive, forward looking company. Barra was chosen “because of her contributions and solid performance over three decades,” Akerson told members of the Detroit Athletic Club’s Executive Club during a speech.
When considering candidates for the next CEO, Akerson said he was looking to “to continue this revolution, this innovation, this upheaval” under his repalcements tenure.
“About six months to a year ago, it started to really congeal in my mind: What better way to shake up how General Motors is viewed if we can diversify the management of the company?” he said.
Due to Barra’s appointment, Akerson said “we are viewed so much more differently than our competition.”