Dean Seeger comments on GM recall, CEO...


Crain’s Detroit Business, 4/6

Barra's review, from those who've been on hot seat
by Amy Haimerl

As General Motors Co. CEO Mary Barra faced congressional panels last week, she may well have felt like it was a firing squad. The members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's oversight panel grilled her, demanding answers about why it took the automaker more than a decade to recall 2.6 million vehicles over a faulty ignition switch that has been linked to 13 deaths. "I think she's been amazing. It's been a textbook performance," said Matt Seeger, dean of Wayne State University's College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts who teaches crisis communication. "She has managed to humanize this and be responsive. She's been extremely calm and thoughtful. She hasn't gotten angry — even though the questions in some cases have been politically motivated."


The Detroit News, 3/27

Mary Barra, explainer-in-chief
by Matthew Seeger

Matthew Seeger, dean of the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts, opines about the recall of 1.62 million General Motors vehicles associated with 12 deaths and 31 crashes. He writes that GM CEO Mary Barra is facing hard questions about the safety of GM products and more broadly about its larger culture of safety. He writes: “Questions and investigations are inevitable in any major product recall and product recalls are surprisingly common. Food recalls are almost routine and involve hundreds of tons of food products. Pharmaceutical products, household products, and a wide range of consumer products are recalled each year because of previously undetected risk factors. Although we don’t know what happened with GM, the research suggests that many factors, large and small, can play a part…But even more important is the expectation that organizations are transparent about problems and that they learn from their mistakes and oversights. This is the road GM is taking.”