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GM’s Barra named world’s most powerful biz woman by Fortune

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(Crain News Service photo) General Motors CEO Mary Barra discussed the automaker’s opportunities and challenges with Fortune magazine.

By Sean Gagnier, Crain News Service

DETROIT (Feb. 7, 2014) — General Motors co. CEO Mary Barra has been named the world’s most powerful woman in business by Fortune magazine in its inaugural list of the 50 Global Most Powerful Women in Business.

Editors emphasized the international nature of the executives’ operations and their standing in the worldwide business community.

In an interview with Fortune, Ms. Barra described GM’s biggest challenge: “I’ll answer the question as, what do I think our biggest opportunities are? We have a position of strength in China. [We need] to build on that.”

She added: “Another huge opportunity for General Motors is Cadillac. We have the right products and the right portfolio, and we’re committed to regaining our status as a true luxury brand.”

Ms. Barra told Fortune that she has never asked for a promotion or a raise, saying that you should “do every job you’re in like you’re going to do it for the rest of your life and demonstrate that ownership of it.”

She said she wanted to empower the teams at GM to be more innovative by reducing complexity within the company. Ms. Barra pointed to the Chevrolet Volt as being a great innovation and an example of one of GM’s goals.

Ms. Barra said she sees future increases in vehicle efficiency as well as continued progress in autonomous driving and safety. She also pointed out the increased connection people have with their smartphones and how that connection should be incorporated into vehicles.

Ms. Barra, her husband and her son are on a mission of sorts—to find the perfect vintage Camaro for their garage. She said they “continue to look for that, but we’ve been a little busy lately.”


This report appeared on the website of Automotive News, a Detroit-based sister publication of Tire Business.

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