General Motors adds Meg Whitman, NBA COO to board of directors

General Motors adds Meg Whitman, NBA COO to board of directors
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Former Hewlett-Packard Co. President and CEO Meg Whitman and NBA Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum are joining General Motors’ Board of Directors, the company announced on Thursday.

"Mark and Meg will bring unique experiences to the Board, especially in technology, brand building and customer experience that will help us drive value for shareholders and other GM stakeholders now and into the future,” GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra said in a statement.

Whitman, 64, was most recently the president of media startup Quibi, which shut down in December after less than a year of operation. Before that, she served as president and CEO of Hewlett-Packard Co., CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise and president and CEO of eBay, according to the statement from GM.

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Whitman, CNBC notes, is known for turning around eBay and dividing Hewlett-Packard into two companies.

“GM's growth strategy has all the elements of a startup but with far greater scale, millions of customers and a strong underlying business,” Whitman said in a statement. “This makes it a very exciting time to join the Board."

Tatum, 51, began his tenure as NBA deputy commissioner and chief operating officer in 2014, where he is responsible for the NBA’s global business operations, and leading the league’s international efforts, the statement from GM says. He also oversees global partnerships, marketing, team marketing, the business operations and communications department, as well as the league’s NBA G League and NBA 2K League.

"GM is changing a more than 100-year-old business model and marshalling thousands of people and billions of dollars to drive solutions that matter for the environment, communities, businesses and investors,” Tatum said in a statement.

“Joining the Board and helping accelerate that change is an honor and I look forward to working with the GM team and my fellow directors to make it happen,” he added.

Barra also praised the diversity of the company’s board, calling it a “competitive advantage.” With the election of Whitman and Tatum the board now consists of 13 directors: seven of whom are women, one is Hispanic, one is African American and one is Asian/African American, CNBC reported.

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"Our diverse Board of Directors is a competitive advantage for GM as we work to deliver a better, safer and more sustainable world," Barra said in a statement.

CNBC noted that 12 members of the board are independent directors, with Barra being the only company representative on the board.

The election of Whitman and Tatum comes at a transitional moment for GM, as it prepares to further submerge itself in the electric vehicles space. Last year, the company announced that it was investing $27 billion through 2025 as part of its commitment to electric vehicles, and it said it planned to launch 30 electric vehicles globally by 2025, according to a statement.

The company also announced in January that it plans to “eliminate tailpipe emissions from new light-duty vehicles by 2035,” which is part of its vision of an “all-electric future,” a statement from the company reads.

GM also announced plans to become carbon neutral in global products and operations by 2040.

The board will stand for election at the company’s annual shareholders meeting on June 14, the statement notes.