26 – 100 in alphabetical order by company: Matthew Tsien, president, GM Ventures
Matt Tsien serves as executive vice-president (EVP) and chief technology officer (CTO) at US-based carmaker General Motors (GM) and is also president of its corporate venturing subsidiary, GM Ventures. He conducts research and development and venture investments on behalf of the unit.
Tsien assumed the roles in April and July last year respectively after the retirement of Jon Lauckner, who had been on Global Corporate Venturing’s Powerlist for eight times since he took up the corporate venturing duties in 2012.
GM Ventures partners and backs entrepreneurs working on mobility and automotive technologies that can be adapted by GM’s cars, manufacturing plants and operational teams. The unit has so far made some 50 investments, led 24 rounds, and currently has 24 active portfolio companies based across North America, Europe, Israel and China and scored 17 exits.
Its investments include augmented reality display technology developer Envisics, on-demand vehicle maintenance provider Yoshi and autonomous vision system developer Algolux. Identity management software developer Keyfactor also enabled the unit to exit in recent months.
Tsien has been at GM since 1995 and had most recently been president of the group’s GM China division in 2014 to lead its electrification and connectivity strategies in the country. During his time in China, he helped GM strengthen its business there and leverage technologies such as electrification and connectivity for long-term growth.
Having begun his career at Delco Electronics, a vehicle electronics design and manufacturing arm of GM, in 1976 as an electrical engineer, Tsien designed embedded system for automotive applications and managed advanced work in navigation and telematics.
Between 1995 and 2000, Tsien worked in China, Australia and Germany in multiple technical, programme management and planning capacities. In China, he was CTO and director of business planning.
Tsien was instrumental in GM’s negotiations with Chinese state-owned automotive manufacturer SAIC Motor Corporation for joint venture schemes, putting GM China’s first five-year business plan together, and helping build collaboration between GM and the government, industry and academic communities.
In 2001, Tsien shifted to GM’s North America product development division as executive director of vehicle systems. After that, he was brought on board by GM Global Engineering four years later as executive director of global technology engineering.
Tsien was appointed EVP of SAIC-GM-Wuling, GM China’s manufacturing joint venture with SAIC and Guangxi Automobile Group (previously called Wuling Motors), in 2009. He sat on the joint venture’s executive committee and oversaw the company’s purchasing and supply chain management operations, alongside IT and associated technical development centre.
Between 2012 and 2013, Tsien had been vice-president of planning and programme management for GM China and GM International, and strategic alliances for China. He was in charge of GM’s planning in the region and helped expand its product offering.
Tsien studied at General Motors Institute, the predecessor of Kettering University, when he was 15 and obtained a bachelor of electrical engineering. He holds a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University and a master’s degree in management of technology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In 2017, the Shanghai municipal government awarded him the Magnolia Gold Award for having contributed to the economic and social development of the city.