26 – 100 in alphabetical order: Jon Lauckner, president, GM Ventures

Matthew Tsien will replace Jon Lauckner as executive vice-president and CTO, and will conduct research and development and venture investments on behalf of GM Ventures.

Tsien has been at General Motors since 1995 and was appointed president of General Motors’ GM China division in 2014 to lead the company’s electrification and connectivity strategies in the country.

Lauckner this summer retired from GM Ventures and its parent company, having initially been hired by the organisation in 1987 for a series of marketing and product planning roles based in the US, Brazil and Germany.

He joined GM Ventures in June 2010 as the unit’s first employee shortly after its inception, and was later appointed chief technology officer and vice-president of research and development for GM two years later to manage its overall open innovation efforts.

Mary Barra, GM chairman and chief executive, said: “Technology and innovation will drive General Motors’ vision of a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion. Under Jon Lauckner’s leadership, the GM Ventures team has invested in breakthrough innovations that are accelerating our work. Long after his well-deserved retirement following a 40-year General Motors’ career, Jon’s contributions will be shaping the future of transportation.”

Lauckner said GM Ventures will continue the momentum to launch the technologies developed by its portfolio companies in GM’s vehicles, plants and operating businesses, extend the breadth and depth of investments in new technology areas joining prior investments made in more traditional areas, and support its portfolio to make a quick recovery from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The funding of startup companies by GM Ventures is more than two and a half times the amount foreseen a decade ago when GM Ventures was launched. About one-third of GM Ventures portfolio companies have successfully exited, resulting in favourable IRR (internal rates of return) and cash-on-cash returns. Several ‘Industry-first’ technologies were launched in GM vehicles that were provided by portfolio companies.

“There is still a lot of variation among corporates, especially participation in follow ons and avoiding non-market terms –such as ROFR (right of first refusal).”

For the CVC industry to be stronger, Lauckner believes a greater sharing of best practices is essential, as well as networking more effectively, developing strong relationships with key partners and positioning themselves as a complement to traditional venture capital, not a competitor.

Concerning his career, Lauckner said: “After a career of more than 40 years –30 of those years as an executive. I have worked in nearly every area of product development and on three continents. I have survived countless reorganisations and downsizing actions, but also started new organisations, like GM Ventures, which is now 10 years old. GM has made a lot of terrific opportunities available to me over the years so I am retiring with no regrets.”

GCV Powerlist 2020 PDF