GM taps Kristen Siemen to lead sustainability; Dane Parker to retire

DETROIT — General Motors has promoted Kristen Siemen to vice president of sustainable workplaces and chief sustainability officer.

She replaces Dane Parker, GM’s first-ever sustainability officer, who plans to retire.

In her previous role as executive director of global energy strategy, Siemen, 50, introduced fuel economy improvement technologies along with other initiatives to support GM’s zero-emission goals. Siemen also worked closely with Parker to set corporate energy strategies and targets, GM said in a statement Thursday.

Siemen’s promotion is effective immediately, but Parker will stay on to help with the transition until May 1, GM said.

Siemen is a 25-year GM veteran and has held senior leadership engineering positions over the past decade.

“As one of the world’s largest automakers, we aim to set an example of responsible leadership,” Siemen said in the statement. “I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to help lead GM in our plan to reach a zero-emissions future and am excited for all we plan to accomplish in the coming years.”

During Parker’s tenure as chief sustainability officer, GM made significant commitments to electrification and carbon neutrality. Last month, GM said it planned to stop selling gasoline-powered vehicles worldwide by 2035 as it works toward a goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2040. The automaker has also said it will invest $27 billion in electric and autonomous vehicle development and launch 30 EVs globally through 2025. GM aims to sell zero-emission vehicles across a range of price points and segments, power its facilities with renewable energy and work with stakeholders to build a charging infrastructure and promote customer adoption of EVs.

The automaker also signed a pledge called the “Business Ambition for 1.5 Degrees Celsius” to help limit global warming and meet the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement, which the U.S. rejoined shortly after President Joe Biden took office last month.

“Dane has helped the company strengthen our work to address climate change and efforts to realize a future with zero emissions, and we wish him every success,” CEO Mary Barra said in the statement. “I look forward to Kristen’s leadership in driving our ongoing actions to create a safer, more sustainable world.”

Parker will retire after six years with GM and one year as chief sustainability officer. Parker joined GM as executive director of global facilities. Before that, he worked for Dell Inc. and Intel Corp.

“The chief sustainability officer plays a vital role in navigating our company on the path toward a future with zero emissions,” said Parker. “I’m incredibly proud of the team here and look forward to cheering Kristen and GM on as I transition into the next phase of my own journey.”

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