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After getting through a tough first year at the helm of General Motors, CEO Mary Barra is being named Fortune's Most Powerful Woman.


Fortune's new World's Greatest Leaders list includes a few automotive bosses. GM CEO Mary Barra and Tesla boss Elon Musk are mixed in with people like Pope Francis and Apple leader Tim Cook.


Mary Barra has been CEO of GM for less than a month, but she's already receiving major accolades. Barra took the top spot in Fortune magazine's first list of the 50 Global Most Powerful Women in Business, ahead of Ginni Rometty, the chairman and CEO of IBM, in second place and Indra Nooyi, the CEO of Pepsi, in third.


During Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit on Wednesday, Mary Barra, General Motors' executive vice president of global product development and global purchasing and supply chain - and in the running to be GM's next CEO - says she gives her employees one directive: "No more crappy cars."


Mary Barra, the current Executive Vice President, Global Product Development for General Motors and widely believed to be a leading candidate to succeed current GM CEO Dan Akerson, has been named to the Fortune's Top 50 Women in Business list for the second year in a row.


Not that it means anything beyond bragging rights, but if you're fixated on the positions of domestic automakers on the annual Fortune 500 list, both General Motors and Ford are still on it but they've slipped a couple of notches. The list ranks American companies and they're ordered solely by revenue. GM, fifth last year, came in seventh, while Ford fell from ninth to tenth even though both companies saw small gains in annual revenue.


When you think of Apple products, what color comes to mind? If you purchased a MacBook this year, maybe aluminum's gray hue, but for everyone else, the color that likely comes to mind is that clean white, maybe with a white Apple logo in the middle. According to a Fortune article, that prevalence may have led to a shift in popular car colors. While silver was the longtime favorite color, designers have apparently fallen for white. Says the report "Prior to Apple, white was associated with things


What is it about German cars that compels many of us to lust after Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche models? Fortune asked that question and came up with 10 well-thought reasons:


The range of powertrain options seems almost endless.


If you saw the recent boring-story-brilliantly-told called The Social Network, you might have come away with the notion that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg deserves the Businessperson of the Year title. The movie's been a box-office smash, but evidently the voting public felt otherwise, electing Ford CEO Alan Mulally as their popular choice.


Historically, Toyota has been the automaker with the Midas touch... everything it did seemed to turn to gold. But, in light of Toyota's recent safety and recall woes, if you were compiling a short list of companies that you admire today – as in right now – would the Big Red T make the cut?


Wal-Mart has been booming since the recession began, and with 2008 sales of $406 billion dollars, the retail giant had its best year ever. That didn't stop Wal-Mart from losing its grip on first place in the Fortune 500, though, as Exxon Mobil smoked all comers with $443 billion in sales last year. Exxon Mobil also topped all companies in profits last year, tallying a cool $45 billion in revenue.


Thinking back on the year that (almost) was, there are plenty of horrid points to ponder, many of which revolve around the automotive world. The biggest story of the year is surely the poor state of the American economy, which has had dire consequences for the Detroit automakers and has led to a bailout package for two of the three companies. There are plenty of other points to consider as well, a point proven by Fortune's list of the 21 Dumbest Moments of 2008. Jet-gate, aka the Detroit 3's CEO


Now that GM is officially Number Two, many Monday morning quarterbacks are popping up to "help" the general right the ship. Count Alex Taylor III, Fortune's senior writer, among them. In an interesting article, Taylor outlines reasons why GM should cut loose the anchors of Buick, Pontiac, HUMMER, GMC and Saab in order to move forward and prosper. Reckoning that GM is too bloated with brands and capacity that were fine 50 years ago, Fortune says it's time to move on.

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