DETROIT — General Motors announced Tuesday that its chief executive, Daniel F. Akerson, would retire next month and be succeeded by Mary T. Barra, who would become the first woman to lead a major auto company.
The elevation of Barra, 51, to the chief executive post is the latest dramatic change at the top of General Motors since its bailout by the federal government in 2009.
GM, the nation’s largest automaker, said Akerson, 65, would step down as chief executive and chairman on Jan. 15. His planned retirement was hastened, the company said, by his wife’s recent cancer diagnosis.
Barra has worked for GM for 33 years and is considered a critical player in the overhaul of company’s vehicle lineups around the world. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.