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Mary Barra to Lead General Motors Global Manufacturing Engineering

Mary_barra General Motors Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner recently announced that Mary Barra, currently executive director, vehicle manufacturing engineering, was appointed GM vice president, global manufacturing engineering, effective February 1. In her new position, Mary reports to Gary Cowger, GM group vice president, global manufacturing and labor relations. She will succeed Jim Wiemels, who will retire April 1 after 43 years of service.

"We are pleased to have a leader of Mary Barra's capability ready to step into this important role, heading up engineering for our assembly plants worldwide," Wagoner said. "We thank Jim Wiemels for his 43 years of exemplary service in a wide range of manufacturing and general management leadership roles around the globe."

Barra, 46, was most recently executive director, vehicle manufacturing engineering. She joined GM in 1980 as a co-op student. She earned her Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from General Motors Institute (now Kettering University) in 1985, and an MBA from Stanford, where she was a GM Fellow. Prior to her current assignment, Barra was plant manager for the Detroit Hamtramck Assembly Center. Among other assignments, Barra also served as manager for manufacturing planning for GM Midsize Car Division, as general director for internal communications for GM North America, and as executive director of competitive operations engineering for North American Vehicle Operations.

Wiemels, 61, also attended General Motors Institute, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering, attended the Harvard program for management development, and received an MA in business management from Central Michigan University. Among his many assignments, Wiemels was a general manager for the Lansing Automotive Division, chairman and managing director of GM Holden Ltd., and vice president for manufacturing for GM Europe. He has been a GM vice president since 1994.

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