When Mary Barra testified before Congress she argued that she had no influence on, or knowledge of what was going on in her company. And now she's on the cover of TIME's 100 most influential people list.
Anyone who watched Congress grill Barra will understand why it's so strange to see the new GM CEO on the cover. Question after question, Barra stated that she was not aware of any of the details regarding the Cobalt recall right up until January of this year.
I've put together a timeline right here that gives you a sense of what was known when within GM (according to an incomplete set of public documents). It points out that Barra held important executive positions in engineering while GM's engineering teams quietly shuffled away the issue of a cheap, faulty ignition switch turning off cars while they were driving.
And so Barra testified that she had no idea that was going on, that she was not aware of what her jurisdiction within GM was up to, that she was really shitty at her job. By testifying that since she knew pretty much zilch about anything, she basically said was not influential at all.
This made sense, because if she had said that she did know what was going on but she didn't act on it, she could open her company up to criminal investigation. So she had every reason to argue that she had been a know-nothing for years.
And here she is on the cover of TIME! I guess saying that you've been bad at your job for decades is all it takes to get you on the cover of irrelevant magazines these days.
I could try and reach out to Barra for comment, but I have the feeling she is still investigating whether she is influential or not.