Ex-HP CEO Meg Whitman and NBA COO Mark Tatum join General Motors board

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Quibi CEO Meg Whitman speaks during a Quibi keynote address at the 2020 CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 8, 2020.
Steve Marcus | Reuters

DETROIT — General Motors is adding former Hewlett Packard executive Meg Whitman and National Basketball Association Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum to its board, effective immediately.

The elections come at a pivotal time for the automaker, which plans to transition to an all-electric vehicle lineup by 2035. That began last year with GM announcing plans to release 30 new EVs globally by 2025 under a $27 billion investment in electric and autonomous vehicles during that time frame.

They bring GM’s board to 13 members, 12 of whom are independent directors. GM CEO and Chairman Mary Barra is the only company representative on the board.

“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 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.”

Whitman, 64, is well-known in Silicon Valley and tech circles. She was most recently president of short-lived streaming platform Quibi. She led HPE from 2015 to 2018, Hewlett-Packard Co. from 2011 to 2015 and eBay from 1998 through 2008. She’s known for turning around eBay and splitting Hewlett-Packard into two companies.

“I have tremendous respect for the commitments Mary and her team are making and the culture they have been building,” Whitman said in a release. “GM’s growth strategy has all the elements of a startup but with far greater scale, millions of customers, and a strong underlying business. This makes it a very exciting time to join the board.”

Tatum, 51, was appointed COO and deputy commissioner of the NBA in 2014. He is responsible for the NBA’s global business operations.

NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum.
Jesse D. Garrabrant | NBAE | Getty Images

“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,” he said in a statement. Joining the board, he said “is an honor and I look forward to working with the GM team and my fellow directors to make it happen.”

Whitman and Tatum add to GM’s already-diverse board under Barra. Of the 13 directors, seven are women, one is Hispanic, one is African American and another is Asian/African American. The automaker became the first major industrial corporation with an even gender split on its board, followed by a majority of women directors in 2019.

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

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