Mary Barra's interview with Matt Lauer went...well...yeah. I just want to say that I vastly don't envy Mrs. Barra's position. As the first female CEO of General Motors, she would've had extra attention regardless, and whether that attention would've been good or bad as her tenure into her position went on is a bit hard to say now. Regardless of the race, sex, or other background factors, being the CEO of GM is bound to put you in the spotlight just because of how massive GM is. As such if you want to get the scoop on an exclusive interview, you probably better be someone with a recognizable name like Lauer - and probably have some softball pre-approved questions along with you. I happen to lack a big name - but I do have access to "The Google Machine." So here's some random facts about Mary Barra I've been able to dig up after 15 seconds of typing into a search bar.
Image credit from HuffPo
Barra's two kids are old enough to more or less manage themselves
Image credit The John Bachelor Show
That's Rachel Barra, sister of Nicholas Barra. I have no idea which is the oldest or not or what their exact ages are, but I'm willing to bet that they're at the age where much mental energy is spent trying to figure out how to maintain their social standing by avoiding contact with their parents in public view as much as possible.
Which only makes Lauer's interview that much more bizarre. Barra hasn't even been CEO for a year yet, yet she clearly has been in the child-rearing game for a very long time, so I think it's safe to say she's got it pretty well figured out how to balance it out. Plus, she's coming in as CEO and the recall crisis right at a time when her own children will not only be more capable of greater independence, but will demand more of it anyway. Maybe this would've been a more relevant question when she started out in various administrative and engineering/design positions at GM, but right now at best it smacks of Lauer being completely incapable of thinking up anything 5 seconds ahead of time.
GM runs in her family
Her dad worked at Pontiac for almost 40 years. At 52, she herself has spent almost her entire professional career with GM, as outlined below.
Being the first female CEO of GM is probably the least impressive of her accomplishments
Like many rising stars who eventually become CEO, she started out young and hit the ground running. She started her path in GM administration right out of high school working for a GM co-op program (I'll go ahead and admit I have no idea what a "co-op program" in auto manufacturing is). She's also been a key engineer in many GM designs. Arguably this engineering legacy is probably more important and will likely outlive any legacy she makes as CEO.
Unfortunately, it also brings into question if she actually has direct involvement with the design decisions that lead to the recall-pocalypse.
She's a legit Gearhead (or at least she claims to be)
She says her favorite cars are the Camaro and Firebird, so that has to count for something.
We probably already know who her replacement will be
At least in my estimation, that would be Cathy Clegg who in less than a week will be GM's new head of North American manufacturing. Now poised to be in a similar position as Barra herself when she was being prepped for the CEO job, Clegg seems like a natural if not obvious choice.
Equally obvious is that Clegg (or whoever eventually becomes the new CEO) is being groomed right now for replacing Barra as she'll more than likely step down after the recall controversy cools down (or even prior to). Honestly, I'm kind of pulling for Barra to stay and straighten things out because yes, she is the first female CEO of GM and I hate to see her leave on such a bad, soured note. On the other hand, I really can't blame her for wanting to leave, or feeling an obligation to leave. The attention went from never-ending adoration to never-ending scrutiny and outright scorn over something that happened on the other guy's watch, and the pressure from the media and pundits to resign will become an unstoppable force, if it already hasn't.