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General Motors names product chief Mary Barra as new CEO

DETROIT, Dec 10 (Reuters) - General Motors Co on Tuesday said Chief Executive Dan Akerson will step down next month and be replaced by Mary Barra, the company's global product development chief, marking the first time a major U.S. automaker has been led by a woman.

The company said in a statement that Akerson, who is also the chairman, will leave on Jan. 15, pulling ahead his planned departure by several months. His wife was recently diagnosed with an advanced stage of cancer.

Barra, 51, the executive vice president for global product development, purchasing and supply chain, was elected by the company board as the next CEO and will become a director. Theodore Solso, 66, will succeed Akerson, 65, as chairman.

This is a developing story, check back for updates.

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