Things have gone so poorly for General Motors Standard Motors CEO Mary Barra during her 1st a number of weeks on the work that some Detroiters have reverted to conspiracy theories to make clear it all. Was Barra set up to grow to be a scapegoat in the ignition-recall debacle?
The chatter was epitomized this week by John McElroy, deemed a sage between Detroit automotive observers, in a radio commentary. McElroy asked, “Was Mary Barra thrown underneath the bus” by her predecessor, GM CEO Dan Akerson, and perhaps by the GM board?
McElroy’s concept appeared to be that Akerson could have known one thing late final year about the coming cataclysmic recall because he left so abruptly as GM CEO in December, when he hand-picked Barra to succeed him. At that time, Akerson cited the excessive sickness of his wife as a important issue in the timing of his move. Previously, Akerson had indicated that he would pass the torch sometime in 2014.
But final month, Akerson suddenly resurfaced as vice chairman of the Carlyle Group, rejoining the personal-equity firm.
“So [Akerson] does not have time to be chairman of General Motors, but he does have time to be vice chairman of Carlyle?” McElroy mused. “Nothing has carried out far more to feed that conspiracy [theory] than that.”
The logical conclusion of that theory is that Barra really could grow to be a sacrificial lamb rather than just a scapegoat, and get rid of her occupation even however she’s the large-profile very first female CEO of a major automotive company.
Although you are pondering that notion, here’s a similarly conspiratorial concept, but 1 with an intentionally opposite end result: that Barra was selected for the occupation since, as a a girl, she would turn out to be pretty much inoculated from taking the fall for the ignition-switch recall unless of course somehow she was discovered to be complicit.
It’s deemed achievable that any new male CEO of GM might have been prompted to fall on his sword at this point, for the good of the company. In a hyper-delicate era in which GM’s corporate culture has come below the microscope, this could effortlessly have occurred by now, just so GM could get a fresh begin with an individual not beleaguered — nonetheless unfairly — by the recall scandal.
Observe how meekly Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich complied with the calls for his head and resigned last week soon after only 10 days on the occupation, after politically progressive computer software writers at the Silicon Valley-based mostly browser company identified out about his flawlessly legal contribution 6 many years ago to the Proposition 8 anti-gay-marriage campaign in California.
But in the situation of Barra, what board of mainly male GM directors could really carry itself to fire the company’s initial female CEO — specially one whom they had just ensconced in the task with tons of speak about how enlightened the move produced them?
Conspirators in this situation would have had to be extremely clever as well as essentially in Barra’s corner — albeit in a twisted and sadistic way — presuming that she would survive no matter what the recall mess threw at her merely because of her gender.
Barra has done just about every thing she could to deal forcefully and openly with the ignition-recall crisis and apparently she never had the opportunity while she was reduce in the ranks at GM to precipitate a recall earlier. But the whole episode even now might consume her.