GM CEO in charge when Oshawa plant ordered closed named to Automotive Hall of Fame

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Published February 14, 2023 at 9:29 am

The first woman CEO in the American automotive industry, a regular on Forbes magazine’s annual Most Powerful Women global list and the executive who ordered the closure of the Oshawa Assembly Plant in 2018 has been named to the Automotive Hall of Fame.

Mary Barra, whose first job at GM was checking fender panels as an 18 year-old co-op student, assumed the role of CEO in 2014, also the year she was featured on the cover of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World issue.

Barra is being honoured by the Automotive Hall of Fame for guiding GM through the controversial ignition switch recall initiative, for leading the company into driverless and electric powered vehicles and for helping to establish gender equity within the organization.

GM Canada, which has had women in leadership roles since Maureen Kempston-Darkes was named President in 1994 (and is currently led by Marissa West) has also led on the pay equity front. When the Oshawa plant re-opened in late 2020 – two years after Barra ordered it shut down – the work force that emerged was more than 50 per cent women.

In 2017, Barra was the highest paid Detroit Three executive with total renumeration of more than $21 million.

She will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Detroit in July.

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