General Motors has appointed Dr. Cynthia A. Telles to its board of directors. Since 1986, Telles has been on the faculty of the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry. Besides that, she has a very extensive resume that includes many corporate, non-profit, and public service board memberships and has published extensive work in the area of mental health, particularly the assessment and treatment of Hispanic populations. You can go through Dr. Telles’ many activities, memberships, and involvements after the jump in the press release).
A few GM Authority readers, however, have written in to us wondering about Dr. Telles’ role on GM’s board. After all, Telles doesn’t seem to be a full-fledged car gal or hardcore businesswoman, so what – exactly – will be her contribution to a financially-struggling car company (that’s on the up-and-up)? The question we have to ask is – considering GM’s current position and biggest problem – whether a different appointment would’ve been more effective.
That said, The General is playing the diversity card on this appointment, with GM CEO and Chairman Ed Whitacre saying the following about the development:
“The addition of Dr. Telles to GM’s board of directors ensures that the company will continue to benefit from a diversity of perspectives and experience in our mission to provide consumers with the world’s best vehicles.”
Dr. Telles’ appointment brings the number of GM directors to 13. In addition to Ed Whitacre, the other board members include:
- Lead director, Patricia Russo, former CEO Alcatel-Lucent
- Carol Stephenson, dean of Richard Ivey School of Business at University of Western Ontario
- Daniel Akerson, managing director and head of Global Buyout of The Carlyle Group
- David Bonderman, co-founding partner and managing general partner of TPG
- Robert Krebs, retired chairman and CEO of Burlington Northern Santa Fe
- Stephen Girsky, GM vice chairman, Corporate Strategy and Business Development
- Erroll Davis, chancellor, University System of Georgia
- Neville Isdell, retired chairman and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company
- Kent Kresa, chairman emeritus, Northrop Grumman Corp.
- Philip Laskawy, retired chairman and CEO, Ernst & Young LLP
- Kathryn Marinello, former chairman and CEO, Ceridian Corp.