Who Is Mary Barra and What Has She Done at GM?

Who Is Mary Barra and What Has She Done at GM?

General Motors is an American-based company that deals in the designing, manufacturing, marketing, and distribution of vehicles and genuine vehicle spare parts. GM made the news recently with the appointment of Mary T. Barra as the company’s chairperson and chief executive officer. Barra has spent her entire career life at GM just as her father did. Here is a look at what she has done for the company since her appointment on January 4, 2014.

Ignition-Switch Scandal

In 2015, a year after Barra became the CEO of GM, the car manufacturer recalled over 2.6 million vehicles after reports of a defective ignition switch. This faulty switch had caused over 100 deaths, and GM was looking at $5 billion in lawsuit settlements, fines, as well as recall costs.

With her honed leadership skills, she commissioned an independent investigation, which brought about the firing of particular employees while others went into early retirement.

Investor Confidence

Her management skills have boosted investor confidence in GM, and the GM stock has steadily been rising. In 2015, GM announced it was withdrawing its operations in Russia. This and many other quality management decisions have registered well in the stock market with Goldman Sachs reporting GM stocks as a very strong beat.

GM stocks were very promising with second quarter earnings registering $1.86 compared to a Wall Street estimate of $1.52 per share.

Employee Confidence

Barra, now 54, is the second CEO in the past five years. GM’s stellar performance in post-bankruptcy GM points to Barra’s collaborative style of leadership and providing calm stability. Employees say she is impossible to dislike and credits her collaborative management style as helping turn around GM.

Her style of management honed from her days as a factory manager has helped turn the fortunes of GM around. Although the company’s share price is below its IPO issue of $33 at the NYSE, Barra is focusing on deploying capital in areas that will generate the right return.