General Motors CEO Mary Barra has been included in TIME Magazine’s list of the 100 Most Influential People for 2021.
Barra’s profile in this year’s 100 Most Influential People issue of TIME Magazine was written by former Intel CEO Ginni Rometty, who describes the 59-year-old as “the most authentic leader I know.” Rometty is the co-chair of the OneTen workplace diversity initiative, which GM joined as a founding member last December at the discretion of Barra.
Barra first joined GM when she was 18 as a line inspector and worked her way through the automaker’s executive ranks before she was named as the successor to former GM CEO Dan Akerson in late 2013. Barra remains one of only a handful of female leaders of a Fortune 500 company and the only female CEO of a major global automaker, which makes the Michigan native a “standout” in today’s business landscape, Rometty says.
Rometty also praised Barra for her efforts to help address the issue of climate change by investing billions in new battery-electric vehicle programs at GM.
“A staunch believer in the science of climate change, Barra spearheaded GM’s commitment to sell only zero-emission vehicles by 2035 because, as she said, ‘it’s the right thing to do,'” Rometty wrote. “An agent of change, her power lies in empowering others.”
GM was also included on TIME Magazine’s list of the 100 Most Influential Companies this year, with Barra appearing on the cover of the magazine alongside the new GMC Hummer EV Pickup. TIME was impressed by the automaker’s recent $27 billion investment to bring 30 new EV models to market by 2025, although it acknowledged the automaker is still “playing serious catchup in the electric-vehicle game,” at the moment.
As we reported previously, Barra earned approximately $40.3 million in 2020, including her base salary, cash bonus payouts, gains from stock awards, benefits and perquisites, making her the second highest-earning CEO of an American company behind Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang.