General Motors CEO Mary Barra will be the automaker’s first female chairwoman of their board of directors, the automaker said Monday.
Barra takes over for Tim Solso, who will remain on the board.
Barra took over as CEO two years ago and is GM’s first female CEO. When Barra took over as CEO in January 2014, the automaker split the role of CEO and chairman following Dan Akerson’s departure.
In a statement announcing the move, outgoing chairman Solso said merging the two made sense for the automaker.
“At a time of unprecedented industry change, the Board concluded it is in the best interests of the company to combine the roles of Chair and CEO in order to drive the most efficient execution of our plan and vision for the future,” Solso said in a statement. “With GM consistently delivering on its targets and on track to generate significant value for its shareholders, this is the right time for Mary to assume this role.”
In combining the two roles, investors could be more wary of GM’s ability to deliver to shareholders, according to the Wall Street Journal. About half of S&P 500 companies have separate CEO and chairman positions, according to the report.
Barra downplayed that risk in the statement announcing her hire:
“I am honored to serve as Chair of the Board of Directors. With the support of our Board, we will continue to drive shareholder value by improving our core business and leading in the transformation of personal mobility,” she said in the statement.