Outside In Podcast:

Mary Barra, Chair and CEO, General Motors: On The Road to an All-Electric Future


At the beginning of 2021, Mary Barra, Chair and CEO at General Motors, set an ambitious goal for the legendary automaker: end tailpipe emissions from new light-duty vehicles by 2035 and focus on the transition to an all-electric vehicle (EV) future. With the manufacturing capabilities, trained workforce, and the brands people know and love, she believes that GM is uniquely positioned to lead the EV transformation. But Barra is also a realist. She acknowledges that there are factors outside of GM’s control that will impact its long-term vision, one of the biggest being infrastructure. Barra joins the podcast to talk about GM’s goal to lead the industry into an all-electric future. She also discusses the changes happening within the company, including the technology inside its vehicles, the GM brand, the company’s “work appropriately” culture, and the evolution of its identity from a 20th-century car company to a 21st-century tech company.

Listen to this episode to learn:

  • The factors that will influence customers’ decisions to purchase electric vehicles
  • Why utility vehicles like Hummer EV can attract new customer groups who might have dismissed EVs in the past
  • How GM’s famous “dress appropriately” dress code — simplified by Barra when she was formerly the company’s VP of HR — inspired the company’s new “work appropriately” post-pandemic philosophy
  • Why culture change starts with values and behaviors — and holding everyone accountable (including CEOs!)
  • GM’s vision to “create a world with zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion”
  • Barra’s advice on leadership and why women should never be afraid to speak up and have a point of view