/ General Motors, Industry, News / GM’s new CEO, Mary Barra, ready for big changes

GM’s new CEO, Mary Barra, ready for big changes

Linked In Share
GM’s new CEO, Mary Barra, ready for big changes

The major challenge facing the 52-year-old electrical engineer and Stanford MBA: How to continue breaking down silos and walls within the U.S. automaker’s historically dysfunctional and disconnected corporate culture and remake GM into a more collaborative and customer-centric enterprise.

When she takes the reins from Dan Akerson on Wednesday, Barra, a Detroit-area native and GM “lifer” who started as an 18-year-old intern in 1980, also will be expected to tackle some unfinished business. Among her tasks: Overhauling GM’s global brands, reviving and returning to profitability the company’s battered European operations, and fattening up profit margins, which lag those of major competitors.

GM under Barra is aiming to shift more vehicles to a handful of core platforms that will offer a greater degree of flexibility and parts interchangeability, thus reducing engineering and production costs. But that shift appears to be at least several years from completion. Barra has demonstrated her technical and financial chops in a variety of key jobs over the past 15 years.

Following a three-year stint as an executive assistant to then-Chairman Jack Smith and Vice Chairman Harry Pearce, she was tapped in 1999 to head internal communications, a role in which she helped GM repair relations with the United Auto Workers after a crippling strike in Michigan.

She then spent two years as an executive director in GM’s North American vehicle operations before being assigned in 2003 to oversee the launch of the Cadillac DTS and Buick LeSabre as manager of the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant.

One criticism of Barra, according to a former GM executive who worked with her, is that “she was never in a job long enough to have much of an impact.” Several of the people interviewed asked not to be named because they still do business with GM.

Although she has not run a GM operating unit — a traditional stepping stone to the corner office — Barra in the past 10 years has headed three critical areas: Manufacturing engineering, human resources and, most recently, product development. She has made significant contributions in each job.

Her selection as GM’s next CEO could be “the most important decision that Dan Akerson has made,” said analyst and longtime GM-watcher Maryann Keller. “But you won’t know until she actually gets the job and appoints the people that she wants around her to help her finish a job that’s only partly done.”

Via Reuters

by Aurel Niculescu (my Google+) - Monday, January 13th, 2014 - filed under General Motors, Industry, News. Image credit: .
Linked In Share
Related Articles
Barra ceo GM


Discuss: GM’s new CEO, Mary Barra, ready for big changes

Leave a Reply















Inautonews Facebook PageInautonews RSS FeedInautonews TwitterInautonews Youtube Channel

Sign up to receive our email newsletter on your email. It's safe. No spam!

Aus GP denies boycott threat
Aus GP denies boycott threatMar.6 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Australian grand prix organisers insist next weekend's 2015 season opener in Melbourne will not be ...
[VIDEO] See the Porsche 911 GT3 RS on the Nardo track
[VIDEO] See the Porsche 911 GT3 RS on the Nardo trackThe German based automaker Porsche has released the first official video with the recently unveiled 911 GT3 RS in which the model ...
Global auto sales could gain 1.5 percent from plunge in oil prices
Global auto sales could gain 1.5 percent from plunge in oil pricesThe recent drop in worldwide oil prices – which in term lowered the gasoline price at the pump in certain regions – should ...
2016 Opel Corsa OPC gets priced in Germany
2016 Opel Corsa OPC gets priced in GermanyOpel has officially announced the official starting price of its sub-compact hot hatch, the Corsa OPC, for the German auto ...
Mitsubishi XR-PHEV is previewing new compact crossover
Mitsubishi XR-PHEV is previewing new compact crossoverThe Mitsubishi XR-PHEV is offering a preview of a future compact crossover which is believed to be the replacement for the ...
US: Mercedes pits new Metris van against the likes of Ford’s Transit Connect
US: Mercedes pits new Metris van against the likes of Ford’s Transit ConnectIn the US, the Ford Motor best-selling Transit Connect small cargo van leads the segment, but its rule might get an unlikely ...
Fiat to name its Mazda MX-5 based roadster the 124 Spider
Fiat to name its Mazda MX-5 based roadster the 124 SpiderThe Fiat version of the Mazda MX-5 will be called the 124 Spider and this is expected to make its public debut sometimes next ...
Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo debuts in Geneva
Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo debuts in GenevaThe more attractive trim of the new Skoda Fabia generation, the Fabia Monte Carlo, has made its public debut recently, during the ...
Geneva motor show’s greatest rides
Geneva motor show’s greatest ridesWe’re again feeling decidedly subjective on this one, but here’s my personal pick of the greatest rides that could be ...
New Ford GT to be priced similarly to the Lamborghini Aventador
New Ford GT to be priced similarly to the Lamborghini AventadorThe new generation of the Ford GT supercar will be produced in just 250 units annually and it will be priced similarly to a ...
Recall roundup: Hyundai Elantra for power steering issues
Recall roundup: Hyundai Elantra for power steering issuesThe Hyundai Elantra is the subject of a new recall announced by the NHTSA because of problems with the electrically assisted ...
Europe: Fiat brand to axe mass-market position in the region
Europe: Fiat brand to axe mass-market position in the regionAccording to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV chief executive officer Sergio Marchionne, the company’s namesake Fiat brand will ...
McLaren 675LT online configurator introduced
McLaren 675LT online configurator introducedThe online configurator for the McLaren 675LT has been introduced recently introduced by the British based automaker. McLaren is ...
Lotus CEO hints at approaching SUV model to lift sales
Lotus CEO hints at approaching SUV model to lift salesLotus Group chief Jean-Marc Gales has none of the preoccupations of other auto industry leaders – such as developing ...
Recall roundup: Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and Charger SRT Hellcat
Recall roundup: Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and Charger SRT HellcatThe brand new and extremely powerful Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and Charger SRT Hellcat are the subject of a recall which has ...
Read more automotive news


2015 Geneva Motor Show Coverage

Mitsubishi-Concept-XR-PHEV-II-1
2016 Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo 1
mclaren 12c spider tuning fab design 1
Ford S-MAX Titanium Sport 1
Citroen Berlingo Mountain Vibe Concept 1
Skoda Octavia RS 230 1
range rover evoque cabrio 1
Kahn Flying Huntsman Live Geneva 2015 07
Mercedes GLE 450 AMG Coupe Live Geneva 2015 09
Hyundai Tuscon 48V Hybrid Live Geneva 2015 06
Brabus Rocket 900 1
Kia Cee’d GT Line 1

More automotive from inautonews
The German based automaker Porsche has released the first official video with the recently unveiled 911 GT3 RS in which the model is being taken around the Nardo track. Porsche enthusiasts, gather around, grab a chair and open a bag of chips because we have just found your next conversation piece ...
read more
Inautonews Editors Section
Geneva motor show’s greatest rides
Geneva motor show’s greatest ridesWe’re again feeling decidedly subjective on this one, but here’s my personal pick of the greatest rides that could be snatched from the show ...
Geneva Motor Show 2015 – the full car guide
Geneva Motor Show 2015 – the full car guideIt can only get bigger and better. The 85th International Motor Show in Geneva will finally make its “carsy” debut on the 3rd of March. The show ...
Test Drive: Ford Tourneo Courier 1.0 EcoBoost – Serenity
Test Drive: Ford Tourneo Courier 1.0 EcoBoost – SerenityFord has been battling losses for years in its Ford of Europe business, but judging by the model lineup of the second largest US automaker you would ...

Editors Section
Inautonews Editors Section
2012 Safest Cars list 2011 Safest Cars [Video] 2011 IIHS Safest Cars [Video] 2011 EuroNCAP Safest Cars 2010 Safest Cars [Video]

Latest in Safety Recall roundup: Hyundai Elantra for power steering issuesThe Hyundai Elantra is the subject of a new recall announced by the NHTSA because of problems with ... Recall roundup: Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and Charger SRT HellcatThe brand new and extremely powerful Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and Charger SRT Hellcat are the ...
Safety Section