By on June 13, 2018

Image: General Motors

Chuck Stevens joined General Motors’ Buick division as a very young lad in 1978, one year after the automaker’s gargantuan full-sizers hit the gym and sent buyers flocking to dealerships. Now 58, Stevens says he’ll step down from his role as chief financial officer and executive vice president at the beginning of September. He’ll remain as an advisor until March 2019.

GM named Stevens CFO for its global operations in 2014; before that, he oversaw the automaker’s North American finances starting in 2010 — a turbulent time for The General.

In his wake, a woman whose actions helped rustled up quite a bit of cash for the automaker will pick up where he left off.

Starting September 1st, Dhivya Suryadevara takes over as CFO. A 13-year GM veteran, Suryadevara, 39, served as GM Asset Management’s  CEO and chief investment officer beginning in 2013, adding the title of VP of finance and treasurer in 2015. Since last July, she’s served as VP of corporate finance.

Making money (and saving it) is Suryadevara’s forte. The automaker credits her for playing an “integral role” in the acquisition of Cruise Automation, the company’s self-driving vehicle branch, as well as the division’s recent $2.25 billion investment from Japan’s SoftBank. She also had a hand in GM’s investment in ride-hailing company Lyft.

These are bets that could pay big dividends in the future, but GM’s 2017 sale of its European operations was all about cutting loose a financial boat anchor. Try as it might, Opel couldn’t generate a profit, and GM’s word of the day was “streamlining.” Suryadevara played a leading role in that division’s sale to France’s PSA Group.

“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 GM CEO Mary Barra in a statement.

Barra saw fit to Stevens a glowing send-off.

“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,” she said. “Chuck has built a very strong team of financial leaders around the world who serve as important business partners across all markets and operations. I personally want to thank Chuck for being a trusted advisor and for his significant contributions, dedication and commitment to GM throughout his career.”

[Image: General Motors]

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37 Comments on “Chuck Stevens Calling It a Day, Rising Financial Star Tapped As GM’s CFO...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “Suryadevara played a leading role in that division’s sale to France’s PSA Group.”

    Not that is was Ms Suryadevara’s fault, but GM essentially paid PSA to take Opel off its hands. That was probably the best GM could hope for, since actually closing Opel would have cost much more.

    Best wishes to both players as they assume their new roles.

    • 0 avatar
      Nick_515

      Didn’t PSA sue afterwards, for being misled on Opel’s fleet fuel economy?

    • 0 avatar
      Shortest Circuit

      “Just keep the share price up” – motto of these successful+powerful+empowered (and whatever the HR dept can squeeze into the press release) women. The CEO of IBM practically gave the server side of IBM away to Taiwan (record year! bonuses!). Seen it too many times to believe in this B$ anymore.

  • avatar
    junkandfrunk

    39 seems awfully young to be the CFO of a $145B corporation. Impressive, I would certainly like to know more about this person’s career path and connections.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      I am sure the diversity card did her no harm. Agreed it is young.

    • 0 avatar
      Sub-600

      She’s not what liberals call an “old stock white”, that’s qualification enough. It was “her time”. Barra is pushing the correct buttons.

      • 0 avatar
        Nick_515

        Well, you didn’t call her a “snowflake,” so you’ve got that going on for your insightful, brilliant self today.

      • 0 avatar
        Hydromatic

        In other words, she’s an Affirmative Action hire. Is that what you’re saying?

        • 0 avatar
          Middle-Aged (Ex-Miata) Man

          FWIW my own career path has taught me (a straight white Republican male) never to apologize for opportunities made available to me. My only obligation is to make sure my job performance warranted having said opportunities presented in the first place.

          So far, it sounds like Suryadevara has earned her place at GM. Best of luck to her in her new role.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            Fair enough if the opportunity given enough to you was based on your ability and not demographics.

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    Suryadevara- being groomed to be GM’s next bean-counter CEO.
    For my next prediction- GM will totally leave behind U.S. manufacturing and become a Chinese/Asian manufacturing company within 20 years.

  • avatar
    redapple

    Mike

    Racist !!!

    Sexist !!!

    You are not supposed to notice a disproportionate % of promotions and dept heads are non white non males if you say – hey that aint right. That is REVERSE discrimination dammit.

    You are supposed to notice this if you think race and sex should come first when considering promotions.

    Queue hate storm in 3…2…1…go!

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    “Baruth operates a website where you’ll feel quite at home.” Please explain.

  • avatar
    Tele Vision

    @28

    The Indian post-secondary education system is based on the British one for reasons that probably aren’t obvious to you. Got a problem with Oxbridge, too? I daresay the Indian schools get better results than, say, the guy I know who went to the University of Arizona on a golf scholarship. He majored in Staying Up Late. He came home after ‘graduation’ and ran his parent’s successful restaurant into the ground in less than a year. He was selling cars, last I heard.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Second and Third world countries were considered to have inferior education systems by the psychologists I worked for and we adjusted the scoring of the tests otherwise (it was called “norming”). These folks were a notch above all of us here in terms of education and intelligence so I’ll go with their view in most cases.

      • 0 avatar
        Tele Vision

        Psychiatrist? Maybe. Psychologist? No. Also, her ‘Inferior’ education got her into Harvard. No mean feat – even for a ‘Merican, never mind a Third Worldian.

        • 0 avatar
          "scarey"

          You can qualify as a Foreign student to Columbia or Harvard if you were born in Hawaii between August 3rd 1961 and August 5th 1961 under a special program and you will get a Connecticut SS# and a free Nobel prize if your mother is named ‘Stanley’…

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I worked for an I/O psychology company who sold assessment among other things. This was their policy based on their own data, I simply developed the code.

          “Also, her ‘Inferior’ education got her into Harvard”

          Yeah so did Barry Soetoro as I recall – the power of affirmative action!

          Start looking into who is getting admitted into the “Ivy League” the past two decades. They only list four ethnicities on their own site and decline to differentiate by sex.

          F***ing joke.

      • 0 avatar
        Nick_515

        Newsflash: western-trained psychologists conclude western training is superior. the conclusion is a result of OBJECTIVE tests with SCORES. Very SCIENTIFIC. No bias here, pure science. /s

  • avatar
    stingray65

    I’m sure GM will benefit from an influx of that famous Indian car culture as exemplified by the famous Indian car songs:

    Little Old Lady from Bangalore;
    Hot Rod Hindustan,
    Little Red G-Whiz,
    Apu’s made a Lady out of Nano.

  • avatar
    Carroll Prescott

    Let the woman make the American people whole by paying us $30 billion in money that GM has used tax and interest free that we’ve never been compensated. The sale of the GM fraud stock was not enough to pay the entire $49.5 billion and with interest on the principal and the remainder plus the tax credits that new GM stole from the old one, we are left with a huge boat load of cash we don’t have that the General is stealing.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    According to the bio I located, Stevens joined Buick in 1983.

    If he did GM in 1978 that would have made him 18 or perhaps 19 years of age at the time. So did he enter the workforce in a production or entry level white collar job and work his way up the corporate ladder?

    He has a degree from the GM Institute, so might he have earned that after starting work at GM? Also an MBA that quite likely was paid for by GM.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/person.asp?personId=99093235&privcapId=61206100

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      “So did he enter the workforce in a production or entry level white collar job and work his way up the corporate ladder?”

      GMI students would rotate to coop jobs in GM. I worked with several of them when I was interning with one of GMs automation suppliers.

    • 0 avatar
      redmondjp

      That’s exactly what he did. I also attended GMI/EMI (now Kettering University), and I started my job rotation straight out of high school, even before my first semester of college (I was what they call ‘B-section’ which rotated at the school with the A-section people – one section was at work semester while the other attended school).

      So his official GM start date is when he started as a co-op engineering student, as far as GM HR is concerned.

  • avatar
    redapple

    RED is correct.
    I know a little about GMI since I graduated from GMI in the 80’s.

    I also work with them now as a Director on one of their boards.

    It continues to be the world’s best and most prestigious Automotive Engineering course of study. Or as the Wall Street Journal once said, ‘It’s the West Point of Manufacturing.”


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