DETROIT — General Motors President Dan Ammann stepping down to lead the company's Cruise autonomous vehicle unit ushers in a new era for the automaker's leadership team.
Ammann, who will become CEO of GM Cruise on Jan. 1, has been part of GM CEO Mary Barra's inner circle, alongside product chief Mark Reuss, since she took charge of the automaker in January 2014. CFO Chuck Stevens rounded out the group until retiring three months ago.
The four well-respected executives were each known for bringing different expertise to the table, with Ammann, a former Wall Street banker, being the driver behind GM exiting underperforming markets and shifting the automaker's focus to autonomous and electrified vehicles.
While Ammann, 46, will still work with the leadership team, his responsibilities as president will be divided between Barra and Dhivya Suryadevara, the fast-rising executive who succeeded Stevens as CFO.
Barra, 56, will acquire direct responsibility over global regions and GM Financial. Suryadevara, 39, will add corporate development to her duties, broadening her domain outside GM's financial operations. Reuss, 55, already gained responsibility for Cadillac and global portfolio planning from Ammann in June.
"It shows the importance they are placing on these technologies," said David Kudla, chief investment strategist at Mainstay Capital Management, "and how serious they are about the Cruise division to put a person like that in charge."
Ammann will indirectly continue to report to Barra, who chairs the GM Cruise board of directors.
Cruise's current CEO and co-founder, Kyle Vogt, will become president and chief technology officer of the operations.
Ammann on Thursday, Nov. 29, described he and Vogt, 33, as "partners," with Vogt leading the technical side of the business and Ammann focusing on "commercialization and other scaling from a corporate point of view."