GM’s Barra takes ice bucket challenge, calls out Gilbert

Michael Martinez and Melissa Burden
The Detroit News

Now two of Detroit’s Big Three automotive CEOs have poured cold water over themselves to raise money and awareness to fight a disease.

General Motors Co. CEO Mary Barra on Friday took the popular ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, a social media phenomenon that’s raised tens of millions of dollars to help fight amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Following Ford Motor Co. CEO Mark Fields, who dumped the cold water on himself last week, Barra had two GM employees from Flint pour cold water over her head as dozens looked on, and posted the video on her Twitter account Friday afternoon.

As part of the challenge, participants are supposed to donate money as well as videotape themselves dumping a bucket of ice water over their heads. They’re then supposed to challenge other people to do the same.

The video was shot Friday at GM’s Customer Care & Aftersales headquarters in Grand Blanc Township. The crowd “went wild with cheers after,” GM spokeswoman Jordana Strosberg said.

Barra had been challenged by Karl-Thomas Neumann, who heads GM’s European operations; Meg Whitman, chairwoman, president and CEO of Hewlett-Packard Co. and others on Twitter, Strosberg said.

She donated to ALS and the nonprofit organization Charity Water, GM said.

Barra challenged NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon, billionaire businessman Dan Gilbert and Phebe Novakovic, CEO of aerospace and defense company General Dynamics.

Last week, Fields challenged drivers Brad Keselowski of the Wood Brothers racing team, and Vaugh Gittin Jr. of Ford Racing.

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