General Motors has announced that Capt. Kenneth J. Barrett will become the automaker’s first Chief Diversity Officer. Barrett, U.S. Navy (Ret.), holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the College of the Holy Cross, a master’s in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College, and an executive master’s in business administration from the Naval Postgraduate School. He also completed the Federal Executive Senior Fellow Program at Harvard and is a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College.
“Diversity is and has been a key component of our success including diversity of work force and diversity of customer base – it can only make us a better company,” said GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson. “That’s why we’ve created this new position and filled it with a proven leader like Ken. His strengths and track record in diversity will help us achieve the leadership position we’re committed to reaching in this crucial area of the business.”
Barrett will report to GM Vice President of Global Human Resources Cynthia Brinkley; Eric Peterson, vice president of Corporate Diversity, will report to Barrett.
The GM Authority Take
This may seem a cut-and-dry subject to some, but increased organizational diversity is widely seen as important to success. In that regard, this is just one way that The General can gain an advantage over its competition, even if it may not be very tangible.
On a more comical note, perhaps Mr. Barrett could use his undoubtedly tactical military expertise to untie GM from its (forced) Chinese “joint venture” partners… oh heck, what are we talking about?