The publication released its new rankings showing the GM CEO landing behind Marillyn Hewson, CEO, President and Chairman of Lockheed Martin. Her position leaves her in charge of the U.S. government’s largest contractor. Notably, the company she oversees catered to President Trump’s request for a “Space Force” and she’s also in charge of developing hypersonic weapons. As China and Russia work to be first with the weapons, which travel five times the speed of sound, the U.S. has placed a major emphasis on its own program.
Last year, Hewson landed in third place behind Barra.
As for Barra herself, Forbes said GM has hit a few speed bumps since the last round of rankings. The publication noted the Chevrolet Bolt EV has slipped in the sales race behind Tesla’s Model 3 electric car, and a China-U.S. trade war continues to threaten the automaker’s profits. GM also recorded a $3.9 billion loss in 2017, though the figure comes after the new U.S. tax law was passed into effect. She secured the number two spot for a few good reasons, however.
Barra earned a significant investment from Japan’s SoftBank for GM Cruise, the division developing the automaker’s self-driving car technology. And she remains persistent that GM will roll out a self-driving ride-share service in 2019 somewhere in the United States. Last year, she made the top spot after being first to market in the affordable electric-car segment with the Bolt EV and for expanding GM’s Maven mobility services. At the time of the list’s publishing last year, GM share prices had also climbed 25 percent, but the automaker’s stock has consistently tumbled this year.
Next year provides Barra another shot at securing the top ranking, especially if GM gets its self-driving car service off of the ground in a timely and safe manner.