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General Motors appoints first-ever female CEO of a major American automaker

A woman has risen to the top executive post of an American automaker for the first time ever. It is 2013.

General Motors announced Tuesday that is has named Mary Barra as its new CEO, succeeding Dan Akerson and a long line of other men who have led the company since its inception. Barra is currently the only woman only woman to take the top spot at any of the major American automakers. (As Business Insider notes, a woman currently runs Smart.)

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

In addition to naming Barra as the top executive, the GM Board also named Theodore Solso to succeed Akerson as Chairman. This isn't interesting information, but it does provide a great segue to talking about the dismal lack of progress around gender parity on the corporate boards of America's Fortune 500 companies, another thing that is pretty inexcusable in 2013.

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