Chuck Stevens Calling It a Day, Rising Financial Star Tapped As GM's CFO

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

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]

Steph Willems
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  • Arthur Dailey Arthur Dailey on Jun 14, 2018

    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.

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    • Redmondjp Redmondjp on Jun 14, 2018

      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.

  • Redapple Redapple on Jun 15, 2018

    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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