2019 ALL STAR | FINANCE
Dhivya Suryadevara’s penchant for complex issues led her to the auto industry, and it has propelled her to succeed.
“This is a business where there is a ton of transformation going on and there’s a lot of complicated, challenging progress that you work on,” said Suryadevara, CFO at General Motors. “That really drew me to this business because I like those challenging problems.”
Suryadevara, 40, started her career with GM as a senior financial analyst in 2005.
She climbed the ranks to become CFO in September 2018 and added head of corporate strategy to her duties in 2019.
“I want to leave the legacy that we helped make those critical decisions that set the men and women of General Motors and the entire industry to a position to succeed,” Suryadevara said in October at Automotive News’ Leading Women Conference.
Her track record with GM includes several significant business shifts for the company.
GM announced a wide-ranging restructuring plan shortly after Suryadevara was named CFO and just before she began leading corporate strategy. The restructuring plan included slashing 15 percent of GM’s North American salaried jobs and ending production at five North American plants. The moves, announced in late 2018, are expected to cut $6 billion in expenses by 2020.
She also played a vital role in the 2017 sale of Opel to PSA Group, GM’s acquisition of Cruise Automation, the $500 million investment in Lyft and the $5 billion in investments in Cruise by SoftBank and Honda Motor Co.
“It’s a business that moves very quickly,” Suryadevara said. “It’s important to stay agile. It’s important to be proactive.”