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Dhivya Suryadevara becomes GM’s first woman CFO, succeeds Chuck Stevens

In what could be termed a rare distinction, General Motors (GM) will soon have a second woman executive in its top management team when Dhivya Suryadevara takes charge as the new chief financial officer on September 1. Suryadevara had been serving as the company’s vice president of corporate finance for nearly a year. She succeeds Chuck Stevens who will be retiring next year.

Suryadevara will report to chairman and CEO Marry Barra, one among the few top-level woman executives in the American automobile industry. “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.

According to the company, the new CFO was instrumental in securing a $2.2-billion SoftBank funding for its autonomous vehicle division GM Cruise last month. The other factors that make Suryadevara the ideal candidate for the post of finance chief are the pivotal role she played in the landmark acquisition of Cruise and the sale of GM’s European arm Opel, besides overseeing various expansion activities after joining the company 13 years ago.

Suryadevara had been serving as the company’s vice president of corporate finance for nearly a year

Stevens will be ending his long career with GM, spanning more than 40 years, on March 1, 2019. He had held various leadership positions in the company before being elevated to the post of CFO in January 2014. Stevens will take up an advisory role until retirement to ensure a flawless transition.

The other women executives holding senior positions in GM are EVP of global manufacturing Alicia Boler Davis and SVP of human resources Kim Brycz. Hershey (HSY) and American Water Works (AWK) are the other two major corporates having women CEOs and CFOs.

Shares of GM traded slightly higher throughout Wednesday’s regular session. The stock had jumped about 11% towards the end of May after the company secured a significant funding from SoftBank, paring most the loss they suffered since the beginning of the year.

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