Meet Dhivya Suryadevara, General Motors’ new Indian American CFO

Dhivya Suryadevara
Dhivya Suryadevara; photo credit: General Motors

Suryadevara is the first female CFO of the 110-year-old iconic automaker.

General Motors Co., on Wednesday, announced that Indian American Dhivya Suryadevara will replace Chuck Stevens as its Chief Financial Officer. She will start her new role on September 1, 2018.

She will report directly to General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra, the only woman to be in charge of an auto company.

“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 press release.

Here are a few facts about Suryadevara:

1. She will become the first female CFO of General Motors

The 39-year-old Suryadevara will be the first female CFO in the 110-year history of General Motors.  Since July last year, she has been serving as a vice president for Corporate Finance. Prior to that, she served as Vice President, Finance and Treasurer for two years.

Other positions Suryadevara served within GM include as CEO and Chief Investment Officer for GM Asset Management (2013 to 2017).

2. She has been a star performer for GM

During her 13-year stint at General Motors, Suryadevara has been a star performer for the company. As GM pointed out in its press release announcing her elevation, she played crucial roles in the “Opel divestiture, Cruise acquisition, Lyft investment and more recently, SoftBank’s investment in GM Cruise.”

As VP, Finance and Treasure, she led the company’s efforts to achieve ratings upgrades from the three credit ratings agencies. She also completed $2 billion notes issuance to fund discretionary pension contributions.

As CEO and Chief Investment Officer for GM Asset Management, Suryadevara supervised the company’s $85 billion pension operations.

Suryadevara joined GM in late 2004. She received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in commerce from the University of Madras in Chennai, India and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a Chartered Accountant.

3. She was raised by her mom

Raised by her mother after her dad’s death at an early age, Suryadevara overcame a lot of hurdles to be where she is now. Her education was funded mainly through loans.

4. Studied at University of Madras

Suryadevara earned a bachelor’s degree in business, finance and economics from University of Madras in 1998, and a master’s in the same subjects in 2000. While the doing her graduate degree, she also qualified as an ACA by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India in 2000.

5. Came to the US to do an MBA at Harvard

Suryadevara came to the United States in 2001 to do an MBA at Harvard Business School. During her MBA days, she worked as a summer intern at World Bank for four months in 2002, as part of its East Asia Urban Development Group,

6. From PwC to UBS to GM

Suryadevara’s first job in India was at PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Assurance and Business Advisory Services, while she was still a student at University of Madras. In the United States, after completing her MBA from Harvard, she worked for UBS Investment Bank as an Associate Director for three years. She joined General Motors as a Senior Financial Analyst at its Treasurer’s Office in September 2014.

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