5343 GM innovation chief Pamela Fletcher leaving for Delta

GM innovation chief Pamela Fletcher leaving for Delta

DETROIT — Pamela Fletcher, an engineer who launched the Chevrolet Bolt and had been charged with leading much of General Motors’ transformation heading into the electric vehicle era, has left the automaker to become an executive with Delta Air Lines.

Fletcher, 55, will become Delta’s chief sustainability officer on Feb. 1, Delta CEO Ed Bastian said in a letter to the carrier’s employees Wednesday. It’s her first job outside the auto industry in a career that spans more than three decades.

“Pam is credited for her natural ability to build talented teams, especially when working on new technologies like EV and AV, for developing innovative business models and seeing what’s possible,” GM said in a statement confirming Fletcher’s departure.

Fletcher has held leadership roles with GM for more than a decade, including overseeing the automaker’s electric and autonomous vehicle technology and much of its software expansion plans.

Most recently, Fletcher was GM’s vice president of global innovation, a role reporting to CEO Mary Barra that the automaker created for her in 2018.

During the automaker’s investor day in October, Fletcher outlined adjacent businesses that GM projects will help double the company’s annual revenue to $280 billion by 2030. She said her team had 20 startups in the pipeline, five of which had already gone to market, including GM Defense and OnStar Insurance. OnStar Insurance could generate a $6 billion revenue opportunity by 2030, she said.

Fletcher’s team also is developing a new service called Future Roads, which would provide anonymized vehicle data to various government agencies to create safer and better-maintained roads.

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“Bringing in a leader of Pam’s caliber will give Delta the dedicated focus and ambition to lead the industry to a sustainable future,” Bastian said. “Her expertise and credibility will expand our ability to forge innovative partnerships, develop cutting-edge clean fuel and technology and invest wisely to reduce carbon emissions and waste in the years ahead.”

Fletcher was featured on Automotive News‘ lists of the 100 Leading Women in the North American Auto Industry in 2015 and 2020. She was an Automotive News All-Star in 2015 as GM’s executive chief engineer for electrified vehicles.

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