Each year, TIME magazine releases the Time 100, its list of the 100 most influential people in the world. This year’s list has the predictable choices, like Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin and Edward Snowden, but also features one hardworking Michigan mother of two that you may have hard of before, General Motors CEO Mary Barra.
Barra and her name have consistently popped up in news headlines and broadcasts this year. It was news when she was appointed CEO on January 15th, and as much as she may like to, she hasn’t been able to get out of the spotlight since General Motors announced the now widely publicized safety recall in February.
Every person on the TIME 100 list has their tribute piece written by a special high-profile contributor. Lee Iacoccoa, former Chryser CEO, wrote Barra’s. He noted that although he has never met Barra, they have similar backgrounds growing up in a working class family and falling in love with cars at a young age.
“Only time (and the pundits) will judge Barra and the kind of job she’ll do for GM, its board of directors, its employees, the dealers and, most important, the people who buy its cars,” Iacocca wrote. “If she remains as forthcoming as I’ve seen her on television with Congress, she will enjoy a long tenure at the helm.”
There is no doubt that Barra is influential. She’s the first female CEO of a major automaker and started out in a lowly position within GM, slowly working her way through the ranks of the company. The full Time 100 list can be viewed here before the magazine hits newsstands Friday.