By Jamie L. Lareau
Detroit Free Press
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Newly appointed General Motors CFO Dhivya Suryadevara has been vice president of corporate finance since July 2017.
General Motors Co. will have a new CFO this fall, the first woman to fill the role.
Dhivya Suryadevara, 39, will become CFO effective Sept. 1. She succeeds Chuck Stevens, 58, who will retire March 1, 2019. Stevens will serve as an adviser until then.
Suryadevara will report to GM’s Chairman and CEO Mary Barra.
“Dhivya’s experience and leadership in several key roles throughout our financial operations positions her well to build on the strong business results we’ve delivered over the last several years,” said Barra in a news release.
Barra shattered the glass ceiling in 2014 when GM tapped her as CEO. She remains the only woman to run an automaker.
She has pursued new technologies such as autonomous vehicles and mass-market electric cars and shut down money-losing operations in Russia, Australia, India and South Africa.
Suryadevara has been vice president of corporate finance since July 2017. She’s been responsible for corporate financial planning, investor relations and special projects, GM said.
Suryadevara has worked on GM’s divesting of its Opel operations in Germany; its acquisition in autonomous technology business, Cruise; GM’s investment in Lyft; and its recent partnership with SoftBank in GM Cruise.
SoftBank, a large technology investment company with stakes in such companies as Uber, will invest $2.25 billion in GM Cruise, and GM will invest $1.1 billion in GM Cruise, its self-driving arm, when the transaction closes at the end of June.
Suryadevara joined GM in 2005. Suryadevara also served as CEO and chief investment officer for GM Asset Management from 2013 to 2017. She also served as vice president, finance, and treasurer from 2015 to 2017. She helped achieve ratings upgrades from all three credit ratings agencies, GM said, and completed a $2 billion notes issuance to fund discretionary pension contributions and upsized and renewed GM’s $14.5 billion revolver.
Suryadevara received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in commerce from the University of Madras in Chennai, India, and an MBA from Harvard.
Stevens, who’s been with GM for 40 years, became CFO in January 2014. He led GM’s cultural shift within the finance team and pushed for stronger business partnerships and accountability for results.
“Chuck has played a crucial role in driving profitable growth across the enterprise for the last several years, as well as being a vital part of the development and execution of all aspects of the core and future business strategies for the company,” said Barra.
Stevens was GM’s CFO for North America from 2010-14. He also served as interim CFO for GM South America from December 2011-January 2013.
He began his career in 1978 at Buick Motor Division, GM said.