Editor’s note: This article was adapted from a speech presented by Karen Dunlap, former president of The Poynter Institute, at The Centre for Women in Tampa, Fla., on March 27.
Mary Barra warmed a seat this week that represented the downside of executive chairs. As General Motors CEO, she was primary spokesperson and target in a Congressional hearing on General Motors’ delay in recalling cars with a flawed ignition system. The ignitions can shut off the engine on drivers in motion and disable air bags.
Barra, who was named chief executive in January after being at GM since age 18, has apologized for the defect that is linked to at least 12 deaths. She said GM will cooperate with government investigations.
Big questions remain about the extent of human loss and corporate misconduct, but in the midst, Barra practices a familiar form of leadership.
She spent her career rising through the ranks at GM and reached the top, as CEO, just in time for what might become one of the biggest smackdowns of a major U.S.… Read more