General Motors Company (GM) is the quintessential American company. Incorporated in 1908, the Detroit-based automotive company has weathered its fair share of boom and bust economic cycles. The company designs, manufactures, markets, and distributes new cars, trucks, and vehicle parts globally. GM additionally offers consumers automotive financial services.
In this article, we take a brief look at General Motor's stock history before reviewing the company's three largest individual shareholders.
- Founded in 1908 by William C. Durant, General Motors has weathered numerous ups and downs over the decades.
- The decades after World War II saw the American car manufacturer flourish as demand for the company's cars spurred increased revenue and market share.
- By the 1980s, the company began to decline as it faced strong competition from foreign automakers, including Toyota and Honda.
- During the financial crisis of 2009, GM filed for bankruptcy and became largely owned by the U.S. government; the company recovered and relaunched in 2010 with an initial public offering of new GM stocks.
- As of April 2021, GM's top individual shareholders were Mary Barra, Mark Reuss, and John Stapleton.
GM's Stock History
General Motors has an interesting stock history. The company was reincorporated in 1916 during a stock buyback campaign that led founder William C. Durant to rejoin the company after having been forced to leave in 1910 as a result of massive debt he incurred through the acquisition of other car companies. Durant added Chevrolet to the GM fold in 1916 and continued to acquire other automobile manufacturers over the years.
The decades after World War II saw GM dominate as a car manufacturer, growing its market share and revenue while simultaneously becoming one of the world's largest employers. The company's fortunes declined, however, beginning in the 1980s and through the 1990s. GM lost significant market share to foreign car companies, most notably Honda and Toyota.
General Motors filed for bankruptcy in 2009 amid the financial crisis and became largely owned by the U.S. government. When this happened, it was delisted from the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and old GM shares were retired. In 2010, General Motors relaunched with an initial public offering (IPO) of new GM stocks. As of Dec. 17, 2021, the stock price was around $55.16.
GM's market capitalization as of Dec. 17, 2021.
1. Mary Barra
Mary Barra was appointed as General Motors' chief executive officer (CEO) in January 2014 when former CEO Daniel Akerson departed from the company. Barra, who is General Motors' first female CEO, was also elected chair of the company’s board in January 2016. At the time, Barra was seen as a perfect fit to take the company forward and advise the company’s board due to her extensive experience in engineering and global product development, one of General Motors' most critical business areas.
Barra holds a bachelor of science in electrical engineering and a master of business administration (MBA). She has won a number of industry recognition awards and was named to Forbes' list of the world's 100 most powerful women for 2021. According to GM's 2021 proxy statement and annual meeting of shareholders notice, she is the company's largest individual shareholder with 2,753,251 shares of General Motors.
2. Mark Reuss
Mark L. Reuss is a president of General Motors, leading regional operations in North America, South America, China, and General Motors International. Reuss has had a long career with GM, joining the company as an intern in 1983 when he was studying at Vanderbilt University to be a mechanical engineer. He later got his MBA from Duke University. Prior to becoming GM president in 2019, Reuss served as GM's executive vice president for Global Product Development, Purchasing, and Supply Chain from 2013 to 2018.
Reuss is the second-largest individual shareholder of General Motors. As of April 2021, he owned 670,814 shares of the company.
3. John P. Stapleton
John Stapleton has been GM's North America chief financial officer (CFO) since January 2014. He joined the company in 1990 and worked his way up the ranks, serving in a variety of finance roles with responsibilities in operations, manufacturing, labor, and performance improvement. GM named Stapleton acting global chief financial officer in August 2020 following the resignation of Dhivya Suryadevara, executive vice president and CFO. Stapleton held the interim position until GM hired former Delta Air Lines CFO Paul Jacobson to fill the CFO position in December 2020.
Stapleton is the third-largest individual shareholder of General Motors. As of April 2021, he owned 183,211 shares of the company.