BHUBANESWAR: In an industry where women are the minority by a longshot, Dhivya Suryadevara — currently vice president of corporate finance — has been named the chief financial officer of American automaker General Motors.
The 39-year-old Suryadevara, hailing from Chennai, will be the first woman to get the position in the auto industry. She will succeed Chuck Stevens, the company’s present CFO, on September 1, a General Motors statement said.
With her appointment, the automaker will have two women running the show and that too in the highest stratum of its management team — Mary Barra as the CEO and Suryadevara as the CFO. Suryadevara will report to Barra, who has been the head since 2014 and the only woman to run an automobile firm.
“Dhivya’s experience and leadership in several key roles throughout our financial operations position her well to build on the strong business results we’ve delivered over the last several years,” Mary Barra, GM’s chief executive officer.
Known as a financial wizard, Suryadevara has been a quick climber. She has Bachelors and Masters degrees in Commerce from the University of Madras in Chennai and an MBA from Harvard University. She’s a chartered financial analyst and accountant and worked at UBS and PricewaterhouseCoopers before joining GM in 2005.
Suryadevara has been responsible for corporate financial planning, investor relations and special projects. She played an integral role in some significant deals GM has made as it has restructured operations over the past several years, including the divestiture of its European arm Opel and the acquisition of self-driving vehicle startup Cruise. She played a role in securing a $2.25 billion investment in GM Cruise by Japanese tech giant SoftBank Group Corp this month.