Post at least three paragraphs answering the three discussion questions below. Respond to at least two of your classmates following the 2+2 rule described in the Discussion Board Instructions in the Introduction Module. Do some additional research to gather up-to-date information on the topic and cite your sources (necessary for full points).
When Mary Barra took the helm as CEO of General Motors, it made her GMs first-ever female CEO and the first female to lead any major global automobile company. As CEO, Barra is responsible for setting the vision and direction of the huge international firm and guiding GM from its troubled past into a profitable future. To do so, she is applying the management and leadership lessons she learned on her journey to the top.
Barra spent her entire career at GM, starting in 1980 as an engineering intern. She later became an assistant to then-CEO Jack Smith, and subsequently moved into leadershipfirst as the manager of an assembly plant, and eventually into various top-management roles. Throughout these roles, Barra has achieved leadership success in eliminating complexity and encouraging innovation. For example, as HR chief, she reduced the companys 10-page dress code down to two words: Dress appropriately. She is also known for her ability to organize and streamline, bringing order to chaos in the huge and complicated global product development department.
These talents served her well as she tackled GMs business issues. Although GM has returned to profitability since its bankruptcy, its market share in the United States is at a historic low, profit margins are weaker than competitors, and some of its brands such as Opel in Europe are losing money. The scandal with the faulty ignition switches forced Barra to testify to Congress about GMs knowledge about product defects. Barra had to bring all her experience to bear to maintain GMs current strengths and enable it to go forward toward continued success.
 Discussion Questions


How will Mary Barras operational experiences as a leader of various departments help her now as CEO? Are there different skills she might have learned that will now be useful?


What types of operations management traits and skills has Barra exhibited? Note: you may have to do some additional basic research on Ms. Barra’s career/background.


Are there any potential downsides to hiring a CEO who has spent her entire career at the same company (GM)?