Mr Jacobson (48) comes to GM from Delta Air Lines where he was chief financial officer, a position he has held since 2012. In that role he was responsible for helping Delta raise billions of dollars to weather the pandemic.
He will now be responsible for assisting GM’s move to an all-electric future.
GM CEO Mary Barra said Mr Jacobson would be a great addition to the GM senior leadership team.
“We share a commitment to teamwork and inclusion as we work toward our vision of a future with zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion while delivering a best-in-class customer experience, operational and financial excellence, and disciplined capital allocation,” she said in a statement.
In a CNBC report on his appointment, the news bureau said Mr Jacobson is “an important hire” and will be “tasked with assisting the auto-maker in persuading Wall Street that it’s undervalued.”
GM said it plans to spend more than $US20 billion ($A28.3b) on electric and autonomous programs through 2025 and bring 20 new electric vehicles to market by 2023.
Mr Jacobson said: “GM’s vision is compelling because it embraces the needs of society, customers and investors, and they are executing an historic technology shift to electrification from a position of strength.”
Mr Jacobson announced in February that he would retire from Delta but cancelled his plans in April as the pandemic caused a global slump in air travel.
Delta CEO Ed Bastian credited Mr Jacobson with leading “the team that has, among other things, raised nearly $30 billion ($A42.4b) in liquidity – a cushion that is essential to weathering the storm and positioning Delta to lead the industry in the recovery from the pandemic.”
At Delta, Jacobson was named the airline industry’s best CFO eight times by Institutional Investor magazine’s poll of Wall Street analysts and investors. His compensation package at GM will total more than $12 million ($A17 million).
By Neil Dowling