He may have grown up in a small rural town in the Waikato, but now Collegian Dan Ammann (Sargood 1985-1989) is leading the way in self-driving motor vehicle innovation in the US.
At the beginning of next year, Dan, who was the President of General Motors (GM), will make the move from Detroit to San Francisco to become CEO of the company’s Cruise Automation subsidiary, who are transforming transportation with their advanced self-driving vehicles.
He will replace Cruise co-founder Kyle Vogt, who will become chief technology officer. The transition comes as Cruise gears up to introduce a ride-hailing service deploying its driverless technology in GM’s Chevy Bolt in 2019.
As GM’s President, a role he held since January 2014, Dan has been responsible for managing the company’s business operations around the world, the global Chevrolet and Cadillac brand organisations, global product planning, new business development and GM Financial. As at January 2017, GM was Number 8 on the Fortune 500, with 219,000 staff and a market capitalisation of US $58 billion.
The 46-year-old grew up on a farm in the Waikato and after schooling at St Paul’s; he went on to study at Waikato University, graduating in 1994 with a Bachelor of Management Studies with first class honours.
Dan joined GM in April 2010 as Vice President of Finance and Treasurer, where his first assignment was helping lead the $23 billion GM IPO – the largest in the world at the time – alongside fellow Kiwi, Chris Liddell.
Before joining GM, Dan was Managing Director and Head of Industrial Investment Banking for Morgan Stanley, where he was instrumental in many high-profile assignments including advising GM during its 2009 restructuring. Dan begun his career in investment banking in New York when he was hired as an analyst and associate in the banking team at Credit Suisse First Boston.
Dan currently sits on the board of Shanghai General Motors, GM’s largest Chinese joint venture, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company and Lyft Inc., and is the Chairman of the Opel Supervisory Board. He is also a certified industry pool test driver at the Nürburgring Nordschleife racetrack in Germany.