Mary Barra Becomes the Most Powerful Woman in the Auto Industry - Ever
When Mary Barra takes over as the Chief Executive Officer of General Motors on January 15th 2014, the world will meet the first ever female CEO of a major automaker and as she steps into Akerson’s position of CEO, everyone else at the massive automaker will answer to Barra. This will make Barra the most powerful woman in the history of the auto industry and realistically, as the head of one of the largest automakers in the world, Barra will be one of the most powerful people in the industry – male or female. I would go so far as to say that Barra will be the most powerful woman on Earth outside of the crooked world of politics. After all, Barra will be THE BOSS of one of the largest corporations in the world and that is something that few other women can say.
There are plenty other female CEOs of major corporations along with high ranking women in the political world but it can be argued that none of those companies have the global reach or the global financial impact of General Motors. Unlike women including Michelle Obama or Melissa Gates (wife of Bill Microsoft's Bill Gates), who are in their position mostly because of the accomplishments of their husbands – Barra has risen to this position of power based strictly on her own work. After all, had Barack Obama not been elected President of the United States of America…no one would know the name Michelle Obama. Also, while Forbes lists some other women CEOs as ranking higher in terms of power (before the announcement of Barra becoming CEO) including Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo, Virginia Romeety of IBM and Meg Whitman of Hewlett-Packaard, Mary Barra oversees a company that is better known on a global level than the other powerful women around the world…although some may dispute that Pepsi has a bigger reach as they sell cans of soda for a buck a piece.
Some quick background on Mary Barra. She is 51 years old and currently serves as the Executive Vice President of Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain. Barra has spent 33 years with General Motors in a various departments including of manufacturing, engineering, and senior management positions. Under her watch, GM has climbed out of the grasp of bankruptcty thanks to the improvement in quality control and improved customer satisfaction combined with the steady stream of attractive new models – all of which Barra has been involved with over the past 3 decades.