Latest News By Industry

Mary T. Barra

Also Known As Mary Teresa Barra, Mary Barra

Chairperson and CEO, General Motors Co

Mary T. Barra's profile picture

Mary Teresa Barra born December 24, 1961, is an American businesswoman who has been the chair and chief executive officer (CEO) of General Motors since January 15, 2014. She is the first female CEO of a 'Big Three' automaker. In December 2013, GM named her to succeed Daniel Akerson as CEO. Prior to being named CEO, Barra was executive vice president of global product development, purchasing, and supply chain

Barra is married to consultant Tony Barra, whom she met while studying at Kettering University, and has two children and two dogs. They live in Northville, a suburb of Detroit. She also owns an apartment in Downtown Detroit.

She has named Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebird as her favorite cars. Barra can speak a little Finnish.


Early Life

Barra was born in Royal Oak, Michigan to parents of Finnish descent. Her grandfather, Viktor Mäkelä, moved to the US and married Maria Luoma, a Finnish immigrant from Teuva. They lived in Mountain Iron, Minnesota and had three children, including a son named Reino, called Ray. Barra's father, Ray, married a second-generation Finnish American named Eva Pyykkönen, and Mary was born in 1961


  • Kettering University (BS) - Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • Stanford University (MBA) -
  • Barra graduated from the General Motors Institute (now Kettering University) in -
  • Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. -
  • Master of Business Administration degree -


  • General Motors - CEO

Other Activites

Barra was a member of the General Dynamics board of directors. She serves on the board of directors of the Detroit Economic Club and Detroit Country Day School.

She is a member of the Stanford University Board of Trustees, the Stanford Graduate School of Business Advisory Council, and the Duke University Board of Trustees.

In August 2017, she was elected to the board of Disney. She was the 12th person elected to this board, and the fourth woman.


Barra was listed as 35th on Forbes Most Powerful Women list in 2013, rising in rank to fourth most powerful in 2018.

In May 2014, she delivered the commencement address for University of Michigan's Ann Arbor campus at Michigan Stadium, and received an honorary degree. In 2018, she received an honorary doctorate from Duke University and in 2022 she delivered as the school's commencement address.

Barra was ranked first in Fortune's Most Powerful Women list in 2015, up from second the year before.

She remained in the number one spot in Fortune's Most Powerful Women of 2017 and Number 5 on Forbes World's 100 Most Powerful Women List in the same year.

In April 2014, Barra was featured on the cover of Time's "100 Most Influential People in the World."

In December 2016, Barra joined a business forum assembled by then President-Elect Donald Trump to provide strategic and policy advice on economic issues. However, she left the forum in 2017, following Trump's response to the Charlottesville protests.

Barra was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in February 2018. In September 2018, Barra was awarded the Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute's Legend in Leadership Award.

In Institutional Investor's yearly survey of top executives, the 2019 All-America Executive Team, Barra achieved the first place in the autos and auto parts sector.

Barra was selected for the inaugural 2021 Forbes 50 Over 50; made up of entrepreneurs, leaders, scientists and creators who are over the age of 50. In 2021, she was included in the Time 100, Time's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world