General Motors continues to roll with the times and realize that leadership has zero to do with gender, but more to do with qualifications. The company appointed their first female CEO in 2013, Mary Barra; however, sadly, her leadership team was still predominantly male executives. That’s all changing and very soon, as GM recently announced their first female chief financial officer, who will be reporting directly to Barra.
The new CFO in question is Dhivya Suryadevara and she will be replacing Chuck Stevens who is wrapping things up to retire from the corporate world early next year. At 39 years of age, Suryadevara will be starting her new role near the end of this summer, with the official date set as September 1st. Interestingly enough, Stevens is set to retire on March 1, 2019, so perhaps he will ensure to show Dhivya the ropes before he heads out.
Still, Jalopnik reported that she probably won’t need that much training. Suryadevara has been with General Motors for well over a decade now, starting with the company in 2005. She has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from India’s University of Madra, as well a Harvard Business School MBA. It’s no wonder she’s been given the honor of GM CFO: Suryadevara hit the 2015 “40 Under 40” Forbes list that outlines the most influential young corporate execs for the year, and since last July, was GM’s VP of corporate finance.
Not only is this announcement significant within the automotive industry, but clearly creates a huge wave of momentum when it comes to female business leaders and the progress that is being made in the corporate world. GM have now has two high-level female executives within its leadership team, and it is also refreshing that a female CFO will be reporting to a female CEO; not something we often see within companies, even in this day and age.