Aside from the fact that Mrs. Mary Barra is the first female CEO of a major global automaker — a feat all in its own and worthy of being on a list of auto influences for 2015 — you’ve got a professional here who’s so public that we’d be skeptical to find just about anyone who might not have heard of her name in Michigan. She’s the CEO of General Motors, basically — and her aggressive task is to get GM back on the board for the auto industry in terms of competition and quality. She’s doing a pretty good job, actually.
A Breakdown of Mary Barra From the Very Beginning
She didn’t just land in that role, though, by randomness, replacing the former CEO back in 2014, and certainly didn’t just blindly accept a featyre with Time Magazine as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.” Mary Barra did start off small, as many hopeful professionals do, at the age of 18, working for GM as a co-op student in 1980 in quite a few engineering and administrative positions. Her work ethic led her to a management role at the Detroit/Hamtramck Assembly plant, and after becoming VP of Global Manufacturing Engineering in 2008, it was pretty clear that she was destined for even greater accolades.
In 2009, Mary Barra was promoted to VP of Global Human Resources, holding that for two years. She then was named Executive VP of Global Product Development after that. You seeing a trend here? Mary Barra has had her hand dipped in just about every aspect of GM from start to finish, earning her a place in the influences of the auto industry for 2015 without even a second glance.
Design, efficiency, operations, manpower, technology, logistics — you name it. She’s had her hand in it. Needless to say, she became full-on CEO of the entire corporation, and the rest is history as she helmed full public protocol and damage control for an issuance of 84 safety recalls, which included 30MM vehicles. She even presided over the U.S. Senate to testify about such recalls and deaths due to the faulty ignition switch on said automobiles. And she did it all with poise, candor, and professionalism. Without even a flinch.
That Is What We Call a Trendsetter in the Auto Industry
There’s a reason why even Forbes listed her as one of the world’s most powerful women — three times. She, in fact, rose from the 35th spot to the seventh spot in 2013. 2014 was a hallmark year for her with Forbes, and we can only speculate where she’s going to be in terms of global power and influence in the auto selection market for 2015. She’s accomplished all of this because of one thing: she’s not afraid to go public and represent her company with gusto. That takes some major spine in the chassis, we think!