Top industry executive, General Motors' Suryadevara, jumps to tech startup Stripe

(Reuters) - One of the U.S. auto industry's youngest and highest-ranking executives, General Motors Co's GM.N chief financial officer Dhivya Suryadevara, jumped ship on Tuesday for Silicon Valley and the technology sector, where she was named CFO of Stripe, the online payments startup.

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Suryadevara’s journey from the Midwest to California underscores the chasm between old school manufacturing and new age tech.

Stripe was founded in 2009; GM is 100 years older. GM reported revenue of $137 billion last year; Stripe in 2018 reported revenue of $529 million. GM has 164,000 employees; Stripe has 2,800. GM has a market cap of $42 billion; Stripe is valued at $36 billion, according to investor website PitchBook, and has raised nearly $2 billion from investors.

Suryadevara, who was GM’s CFO for just under two years, was held in high regard by Wall Street analysts, who had speculated on her potential to secure a chief executive officer position outside the auto industry.

Her GM compensation package last year totaled $6.8 million.

Stripe did not say how much she would be paid.

In a statement on Tuesday by Stripe, Suryadevara said: “I really enjoy leading complex, large-scale businesses and I hope to use my skills to help accelerate Stripe’s already steep growth trajectory.”

GM named John Stapleton, currently CFO of North American operations, as acting global finance chief, effective Aug. 15. Stapleton joined GM in 1990 and has held a series of finance roles in the company.

Suryadevara succeeded Chuck Stevens as GM’s CFO in September 2018. Before that, she was vice president of corporate finance. She joined GM in 2004 as a senior financial analyst in the Treasurer’s Office.

GM said it would conduct internal and external searches for a permanent successor to Suryadevara.

Reporting by Rachit Vats and Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru and Paul Lienert in Detroit; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Bernadette Baum