Dhivya Suryadevara had a pretty big job already as CEO of GM Asset Management, overseeing General Motors’ roughly $80 billion in pension assets. But her bosses believed she could handle more.
In mid-2015, she added the title of treasurer and vice president of finance, reporting to GM CFO Chuck Stevens. In her new role, she essentially oversees GM’s balance sheet, including capital planning, capital market activities and worldwide banking, while still managing the pensions. It’s not a low-profile gig: GM CEO Mary Barra’s team has been extolling a newfound discipline on the use of shareholders’ money through GM’s capital-allocation framework, created by Stevens’ team in 2015 as a guide for how GM spends its capital.
Suryadevara, a native of India who moved to the U.S. to get her MBA from Harvard, says the treasurer job has given her a window into the operational side of the company at a fascinating time. GM is placing bets on ride sharing and autonomous driving through recent acquisitions and partnerships while also planning for the next, inevitable downturn in the sales cycle.