General Motors is paying the first quarterly dividend on its common stock after nearly six years after its board of directors has approved the 30-cent-a-share payout. The dividend will be payable on March 28, 2014, to all common shareholders as of March 18, 2014. GM has not paid a dividend since June 2008 when it decided to save cash due to increasing losses during the US recession.
Shareholders have been pushing the carmaker to issue a dividend for over a year as the carmaker’s cash reserves continue to increase. Through September 2013, GM has logged 15 straight profitable quarters and had $37.3 billion in automotive liquidity and $8.4 billion in automotive debt. "Today's General Motors is designing high-quality, world-class vehicles for our customers and delivering consistently solid financial results," outgoing chief executive Dan Akerson said in a statement.
On the other hand, GM has named Chuck Stevens as its new chief operating officer, replacing Dan Ammann, who was appointed GM president in December. Ammann, along with incoming chief executive Mary Barra, will take their post starting January 15, 2014. Stevens has been GM North America’s CFO since January 2010 and has been responsible for overseeing the financial operations for the region.
He has concentrated on increasing GM's profit margin in North America to 10 percent. GM North America posted a pretax profit margin of 9.3 percent in the third quarter -- the highest in two years. Stevens had held leadership posts for GM in China, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand.
He started his career at Buick Motor Division in 1983. Replacing Stevens as CFO of North America is John Stapleton, the current CFO of GM Global Manufacturing. Stapleton will report to Alan Batey, who becomes executive vice president and president of GM North America effective Jan. 15, 2014.