Online payments group Stripe debauchery GM CFO

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Stripe has poached General Motors CFO Dhivya Suryadevara, bolstering his executive team as the San Francisco-based online payments company rides a wave of e-commerce growth.

The hiring of a top CFO is often seen as a precursor to an initial public offering for a fast-growing private company like Stripe, which was valued at $ 36 billion earlier this year.

However, John Collison, president of Stripe, insisted he had no “short-term” plans to take the company public.

“IPO considerations didn’t feature prominently in our reasoning for this hire,” said Mr. Collison, who co-founded Stripe with his brother Patrick in 2010. “We don’t have a calendar we are working on in terms of quotation. It’s not a short-term thing on the cards for Stripe. ”

Stripe, which ranked alongside Elon Musk’s SpaceX as the most valuable private tech company in the United States earlier this year, has built its leadership team in recent months.

His hiring of Ms Suryadevara, after what Mr Collison said was an 18-month search, follows the hiring of Mike Clayville of Amazon’s web services unit last week as director of recipes. Earlier this year, Stripe hired new general counsel, Trish Walsh, of Voya Financial, the U.S. pension provider.

Ms. Suryadevara was appointed GM’s CFO in 2018 at the age of 39, becoming the first female CFO in the automaker’s century-old history. GM became one of only two Fortune 500 companies with a female CEO and CFO.

She is leaving the Detroit-based company at a critical time. The coronavirus pandemic stretched GM’s finances and forced it to tap into its $ 16 billion lines of credit earlier this year, to write off the company while its factories across the world were closed.

His move is not the first time a senior finance executive has switched between the auto and tech sectors, after Ford appointed former Snap chief Tim Stone as CFO of the last year.

GM said in a filing Tuesday that it would conduct an internal and external search for a replacement for Ms. Suryadevara. John Stapleton, currently CFO of its North American operations, will become interim CFO on August 15.

GM Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra said, “Dhivya has been a transformational leader in her tenure as CFO. She has helped the company strengthen our balance sheet, improve our cost structure, focus on generating cash flow and driving the right investments for our future. We wish him every success.

Previously GM’s Vice President of Corporate Finance, Suryadevara was instrumental in its 2016 acquisition of Cruise, the autonomous vehicle start-up in which SoftBank subsequently invested, as well as the automaker’s investment. automobile in the company Lyft. .

In addition to this Silicon Valley experience, Mr. Collison said the scale and complexity of Stripe’s business, which now operates under strict financial regulations in 39 countries, also matched Ms. Suryadevara’s experience. with GM.

“Things that might not seem very relevant to Stripe at first glance have actually turned out to be,” he said, including GM’s significant lending activity and presence in emerging markets.

Ms Suryadevara will be one of more than 400 new staff to join Stripe so far this year, as she has continued to expand despite the uncertainty created by the coronavirus.

Stripe’s overall payment volumes are growing at a faster rate than at the start of the year, Mr. Collison said, as the acceleration of customers like Shopify, Zoom and Instacart outpaced slowdowns at Uber and Booking. .com.

Hundreds of thousands of new businesses have signed up for Stripe since March, allowing the company to meet its 2020 customer goals almost six months early. Almost $ 10 billion in payments have been processed for these new customers, Stripe said, with total volumes now reaching hundreds of billions of dollars per year.

As the pandemic spread through April, Stripe raised an additional $ 600 million on the same terms as a funding round announced last September.

Stripe has also sought to make its own investments during the pandemic, leading a $ 20 million fundraising round in online payments startup Fast and adding to its stake in UK digital bank Monzo.

“Despite the natural tendency for businesses to fall back on times like this, being able to continue to grow is actually very important because the need for something like Stripe is even greater,” said Mr. Collison.

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