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Sudden illness sped up GM's executive shuffle, Barra's CEO promotion
Sudden illness sped up GM's executive shuffle, Barra's CEO promotion

The sudden illness of Karin Akerson, the wife of General Motors Co. Chief Executive Dan Akerson, sped up the naming of a new top executive at the nation’s largest automaker. GM said Mary Barra will succeed Akerson in January.  Barra, 51, heads the company’s global product development team and has worked at GM since joining the business as an intern 33 years ago. She is the first woman to head an automaker, and joins just a handful of female CEOs at large American businesses, including Marissa Mayer at Yahoo Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co.’s Meg Whitman. "I never thought I'd see the day that a woman would head a car company -- much less the biggest car...

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