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Rediff.com  » Business » Chennai-born Dhivya S is GM's first female CFO

Chennai-born Dhivya S is GM's first female CFO

Last updated on: June 14, 2018 12:34 IST

An Indian-American, Dhivya Suryadevara, has been named the chief finance officer of the US's largest automaker, General Motors. 

Suryadevara, currently the vice president of corporate finance, will succeed Chuck Stevens, the GM's present CFO, on September 1, the company said in a statement. 

Chennai-born Suryadevara, 39,  has been GM's vice president of corporate finance since July 2017. She will report to Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra, 56, who has been head of the automaker since 2014. 

Barra and Suryadevara are the first women in their respective positions in the auto industry, as no other major global automaker has a female CEO, nor a CEO and CFO who are both female. 

 

GM will join a very short list of S&P 500 companies, including Hershey Co and American Water Works Co, with women serving as CEO and CFO. 

Suryadevara earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in commerce from the University of Madras in the southern Indian town of Chennai. She moved to the US at the age of 22 to pursue her MBA from HarvardUniversity. 

She is a chartered financial analyst and accountant, and worked at UBS and PricewaterhouseCoopers before joining the Detroit-based GM in 2005 at the age of 25. 

"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," Barra said in a statement. 

Stevens, 58, has been CFO at the largest US automaker since January 2014 and will retire in March next year as a more than 40-year veteran of the company. 

He will remain with the company as an adviser until his retirement, the statement said. 

Stevens began at the Buick division in 1978 and, like Barra, was educated at General Motors Institute, which became Kettering University. He had a key role in GM establishing its joint venture in China with SAIC Motor Corp. and was a crucial player in GM selling its long-struggling Opel business to French automaker PSA group.

Seema Hakhu Kachru in Houston