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Can CEO Mary Barra Change General Motors' Corporate Culture?

 / Updated  / Source: CNBC.com

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It's a place no CEO wants to be.

But there was General Motors' new chief executive, Mary Barra, testifying last month before Congress—trying to account for a design flaw that led to at least 13 deaths.

Committee members were on the offensive, trying to uncover what it was about the corporate culture at General Motors that allowed this to happen. An exchange with Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, cut to the heart of the matter.

Why in the world would a company with the stellar reputation of General Motors purchase a part that did not meet its own specifications?" Barton asked.

Barra's response: "I want to know that as much as you do. It is not the way we do business today. It is not the way we want to design and engineer vehicles for our customers."

Later, Barra added that "whatever mistakes were made in the past, we will not shirk from our responsibilities now and in the future. Today's GM will do the right thing."

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