General Motors CEO Mary Barra: ‘We are disrupting ourselves, we’re not trying to preserve a model of yesterday’

When we sat down with Mary Barra recently, it was Volkswagen’s diesel emissions-rigging scandal that was consuming the automotive world. Barra is no stranger to dealing with reputation-destroying misconduct. Less than two months after she became CEO, GM had one of the worst crises in its history, forced to recall more than a million cars for ignition switches that could cause cars to shut off in motion, preventing airbags from properly deploying in a crash. For Barra, a GM-lifer, it was an instant test of leadership. I asked her about that, VW’s woes, being the first female auto industry CEO, and about the fast-changing auto industry at a time when focus is shifting to Silicon Valley’s efforts to build cars. She’s confident Detroit — and GM — can innovate just like Google and Tesla.