GM hires former Nordstrom exec to lead new digital business team, adds board member

Kalea Hall
The Detroit News

Detroit — General Motors Co. is creating a digital business team focused on growing the automaker's virtual business opportunities and hiring a former Nordstrom and Walt Disney executive to lead it.

Edward Kummer, former president of Nordstrom Rack’s online business and Nordstrom’s HauteLook brand, has been named GM's chief digital officer starting Oct. 16. Kummer will report to GM President Mark Reuss as he works to deliver a "holistic digital business" and accelerate software investments.

General Motors Co. has named Edward Kummer, chief digital officer, responsible for building and delivering a holistic digital business, leading a newly formed digital business team, and accelerating software investments.

GM made the announcement of Kummer's hiring and the new digital business team a day before it brings in investors to pitch its growth plans, including how it's working to become known as a tech company and not just an automaker. 

“We are creating new digital experiences for our customers, both inside and outside of the vehicle, to enhance their lives and keep them connected to an increasingly digital world,” Reuss said in a statement. “As our business model evolves to reflect the vital role that software plays in our products and services, and the new opportunities it enables, Edward’s proven track record of digital and e-commerce expertise and leadership make him a huge asset for us."

In addition to his time at Nordstrom, Kummer spent 18 years with Disney in leadership roles. He's also worked for Victoria’s Secret and Luxottica, where he led digital and e-commerce strategies and he served as chief marketing and digital officer for Oakley.  

“I am passionate about GM’s zero-crashes, zero-emissions and zero-congestion vision, especially its impactful role in sustainable transportation," Kummer said in a statement. "I am excited to leverage my digital expertise to create transformative experiences that will generate a lasting connection with the customer and foster a lifelong affinity to GM’s brands and products."

Aneel Bhusri is the newest member of GM's board of directors.

GM also announced Tuesday that Aneel Bhusri, the co-CEO and chairman of Workday Inc., is joining the company's board of directors, giving it 13 members.  Bhusri co-founded Workday, a provider of enterprise cloud applications for finance and human resources. 

Bhusri is the third addition to GM's board this year. Meg Whitman, former head of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Mark Tatum, deputy commissioner and chief operating officer of the National Basketball Association, were added in March.