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GM CEO Mary Barra has no plans to retire

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General Motors chair and chief executive officer Mary Barra participates in an Economic Club of Washington discussion on “the transformation of the automotive industry to an all-electric future, the path to autonomous vehicles, and the recent negotiations with GM’s workforce” in Washington, U.S., December 13, 2023. 

Elizabeth Frantz | Reuters

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DETROIT – General Motors CEO and Chair Mary Barra on Thursday said she has no plans to retire any time soon as she tries to ensure the company’s transformation is on “a good path.”

Barra, who is the longest tenured CEO outside of the company’s founder, has been asked about retirement for several years. The questions have grown as executives of competitors have come and gone under Barra’s more than 10-year tenure leading GM.

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“I’m having a lot of fun, and I want to make sure we have our transformation on a good path,” she said during a fireside chat at a Detroit Economic Club meeting. “So, I’m young and in good health, I’ve got a supportive family, so I don’t think I’m headed anywhere soon.”

Many potential successors within GM have come and gone during Barra’s tenure. Several left the company for other opportunities, while others retired or left the company for unspecified reasons.

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Barra reiterated she serves at the pleasure of the GM board and that she continues to have “fun.” She said she is working through “the most exciting time” for the automotive industry during her career.

GM, like other automakers, is investing billions of dollars into all-electric vehicles, despite consumer adoption coming more slowly than many expected just a couple years ago.

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The Detroit automaker also is attempting to relaunch its Cruise autonomous vehicle business after it ceased public operations following an Oct. 2 accident in which a pedestrian in San Francisco was dragged 20 feet by a Cruise robotaxi.

Cruise and EVs, along with software-defined vehicles and services, have been among the largest potential growth areas under Barra, who became CEO in January 2014.

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