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    EVP, Global Product Development & Global Purchasing and Supply Chain
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A heavy schedule of 2013 GM product launches tested Barra — the highest-ranking woman in the auto industry — and her grades were all superlative. She’s brought a new rigor and discipline to GM’s often unruly product development process. Critics praised the 2014 Chevy Impala as the best GM car in decades, and the upcoming seventh-generation Corvette is a top contender for car-of-the-year honors. Her biggest fan: chairman and CEO Dan Akerson, who keeps talking up the likelihood of a woman becoming a Detroit CEO .