GM CEO: "People Died in Our Cars"

In a statement to employees, GM CEO Mary Barra was frank: "People were hurt, and people died in our cars." Her presentation came after the company reached a $900 million settlement agreement with the Department of Justice for failing to recall cars with faulty ignition switches. (See transcript.)

Barra focused on changes at GM: 

"But apologies and accountability don't amount to much if you don't change your behavior.  We have.  And that's what I want to focus on in our time together."

She outlined what she called a "tough agreement" and then reviewed the actions GM has already taken: "We lived our values, and it made a huge difference."

Discussion Starters:

  • Who are the primary and secondary audiences for Barra's presentation? Why would the company make this internal communication public?
  • Assess Barra's video. What is notable about the content, organization, and delivery compared to her previous presentation to employees?