Automotive News All Stars
FINANCE: Chuck Stevens, CFO, General Motors
 
In February, a group of hedge funds led by former U.S. Treasury adviser Harry Wilson demanded an $8 billion stock buyback and a seat on General Motors’ board. The potential proxy fight threatened to become a distraction for GM just as it was recovering from its recall-plagued 2014.

But GM was ready. It already was far along on a broad plan to satisfy investors’ cash-return demands while protecting its stout balance sheet.

CFO Chuck Stevens, 55, was the point person on GM’s so-called capital allocation framework, which essentially earmarks the money needed to fund new vehicle programs and technology while maintaining a $20 billion cash cushion.

Leftover cash flow goes back to investors through stock buybacks and dividends — a transparent solution that appeased Wall Street.