General Motors officials announced Tuesday that Mary Barra will soon take over as the company's CEO. She will be the company's first female CEO.
"I never thought I'd see the day that a woman would head a car company—much less the biggest car company in America," Edmunds.com senior analyst Michelle Krebs said in a prepared statement.
Barra came up through the manufacturing ranks, which can be difficult for anyone, but especially women, she also said.
She has proven she's a good fit for this role, Krebs said of Barra.
"She is highly regarded internally as an effective leader who gets the job done," Krebs said. "As head of product development, she has led a GM product renaissance. Consider that six of the 24 entries for the North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year are from GM this year."
Another senior analyst with online automotive shopping and research outlet Edmunds.com, Bill Visnic, said that the company is sending a signal by picking Barra.
She is the first leader since Bob Stempel in the early '90s who has an engineering background, he said.
"It could be interpreted as a signal that GM believes it's as much a car-making company as a money-making company," he said in a prepared statement. "I think it's an important signal that, as GM sheds the last of its financially focused baggage, it's choosing an engineer to start a new era and frame the company's revised vision."
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