General Motors has hired Paul Jacobson as CFO, adding the Delta Air Lines executive to the team that is steering the automaker toward an all-electric future.
Jacobson, 48, comes to GM fresh from helping Delta raise billions of dollars to weather the coronavirus pandemic. He joined the company as a financial analyst in 1997, serving as CFO since 2012.
Jacobson’s appointment as GM’s CFO is effective Dec. 1. He replaces Dhivya Suryadevara, who resigned in August to become finance chief at online payments company Stripe.
“Paul is a great addition to the GM senior leadership team,” CEO Mary Barra said in a news release. “We share a commitment to teamwork and inclusion as we work toward our vision of a future with zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion while delivering a best-in-class customer experience, operational and financial excellence, and disciplined capital allocation.”
As CNBC reports, “Jacobson is an important hire for GM as it enters into new ventures and continues to restructure its business operations toward all-electric vehicles. He’ll also be tasked with assisting the automaker in persuading Wall Street that it’s undervalued.”
The company plans to spend more than $20 billion on electric and autonomous programs through 2025 and bring 20 new electric vehicles to market by 2023.
“GM’s vision is compelling because it embraces the needs of society, customers and investors, and they are executing an historic technology shift to electrification from a position of strength,” Jacobson said.
Jacobson had announced in February that he would retire from Delta but canceled his plans in April as the airline reeled from the virus-induced collapse in demand for air travel.
Delta CEO Ed Bastian credited him with leading “the team that has, among other things, raised nearly $30 billion in liquidity – a cushion that is essential to weathering the storm and positioning Delta to lead the industry in the recovery from the pandemic.”
At Delta, Jacobson was named the airline industry’s best CFO eight times by Institutional Investor magazine’s poll of Wall Street analysts and investors. His compensation package at GM will total more than $12 million.