Back in 2009, as managing director and head of Industrial Investment Banking for Morgan Stanley, Dan Ammann was involved with a major corporate restructure: General Motors.
His work caught the attention of then-GM CFO Christopher Liddell and former GM board member Steve Girsky. Up until that point Ammann had no plans of joining the auto industry let alone rising to the heights he’s achieved today, according to a report by Automotive News.
Liddell and Girsky eventually convinced the New Zealand-born Ammann to climb aboard and in April 2010 Ammann was immediately put in place as VP of finance and treasurer. His first task? Leading new GMs’ initial public offering (IPO).
In five short years Ammann moved from VP to his current position as President of General Motors, a title he took effective January 2014.
These days, Ammann has been tasked with two major goals his boss, CEO Mary Barra, sees as key to GM’s success: Revitalizing Chevrolet and Cadillac, while also tying together the company’s historically splintered regional businesses.
He also oversees the heads of GM’s four major regions: North America, South America, Europe, and GM’s International Operations unit, which includes China.
And before you label Ammann as another Wall Street suit, know that he is a certified test driver at the Nürburgring and a self-proclaimed car guy who spent his first Morgan Stanley bonus on a 1961 Cadillac Series 62 convertible. Ammann also believed Cadillac was stuck battling its sister brands when luxury sales required a more subtle approach.
Today, the 43-year-old Ammann is confident. He believes one of the important aspects of the job is “having the right people in the right places” and he is happy with GM’s current mix of corporate lifers and fresh faces.
We’ll just have keep our on the sales charts over the next few years to see if his plans take root.