Barra Ranked 2nd on Fortune’s 2018 Most Powerful Women List
After three years at the top of Fortune’s annual Most Powerful Women list, General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra slipped to No. 2 for 2018.
Barra ended up just behind the new No. 1: Marillyn Hewson, the CEO, President, and Chairman of Lockheed Martin, America’s biggest government contractor. Lockheed Martin developed the F-35 fighter jet and is a major player in the U.S. military’s push to develop hypersonic weapons.
Fortune cited a couple of factors behind its decision to lower Barra’s ranking. GM’s share prices have taken a hit this year. Its profits are being menaced by a looming trade war with China, and a new tax law hit the automaker with a $3.9 billion loss for 2017. Meanwhile, Tesla is cutting into sales of the Chevrolet Bolt EV.
At the same time, Fortune says, Barra was able to reel in a $2.25 billion investment toward GM Cruise autonomous vehicle technology from SoftBank. And next year, GM plans to launch its own autonomous ride-sharing service.
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Last year, Fortune ranked Barra No. 1 for GM’s successful introduction of the affordable Bolt EV, for its new Maven ride-sharing service, and for its climbing stock prices.
In putting together this ranking of powerful female leaders, Fortune editors take four criteria into account. First, how big and important is the woman’s business in the context of the global economy? Second, is the business healthy and moving in the right direction? Third, what is the woman’s career arc — does she still have more accomplishments ahead of her? Finally, what is her social and cultural influence?
Despite Barra’s slight drop in the rankings, she continues to match these criteria in an impressive way.
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