GM CEO grad speech at University met with mixed feelings image

The US University of Michigan decided to invite General Motors CEO, Mary Barra to hold a speech during a commencement ceremony was met with critics from within.

Two groups, among them the Graduate Employees Organization have passed a resolution that called the Ann Arbor school to recall its invitation, citing leadership issues in her conduct of the company’s long delayed recall of the 2.6 million cars equipped with defective ignition switches, which led to at least 13 deaths.

Nevertheless, Mary Barra, the first auto industry female CEO has accepted the invitation and talked about working hard, being honest and addressing any problems met quickly – son they don’t have a chance to grow.

“Remember that hope is not a strategy,” she said. “And problems don’t go away when you ignore them — they get bigger.”

The speech held during the ceremony where around 9,500 undergraduate, professional and graduate students got their diplomas, is unrelated to the ensuing recall scandal, which wasn’t even mentioned, though some of the lessons she taught the students seem to have been learned over her first four months as a CEO.

Barra took office just as delayed recall – covering 2.6 million cars equipped with defective ignition switches – surfaced late February – stemming a huge scandal and probes from many federal authorities.