Michael Darrow

Michael Darrow


I have a solid 18-year track record of global experience and accomplishments with two major automotive OEMs, Ford Motor Company and General Motors Corporation. In the span of my career with these two firms I have worked in nearly all facets of the business including operations, business development, strategic planning, mergers & acquisitions, product development and even launch of a new subsidiary from the pre-business plan phase.

Presently, I am the Manager of Global Strategy and Business Development in GM R&D. The main objective of this role is two-fold; to establish a GM Corporate Venture Capital portfolio through leveraging strategic partnerships, and develop implementation plans/processes to improve technology collaboration with external suppliers and GM R&D Centers. Prior to this assignment I spent two years in GM s Corporate Strategy office; this is a very highly regarded group within GM. Our charter included taking on cross-functional and very complex challenges facing the corporation s Automotive Strategy Board (GM s Board of Directors), essentially acting as internal consultants to GM s top senior executives. An example of one of the projects included working with our Sales & Marketing Division to assess the impact of the re-structuring they have completed with GM s 7,500 dealers (merging brands, splitting off imports, relocations, etc). Based on our findings and new strategic direction GM s projected savings is in the $50 Million range. In addition, I led projects related to fuel cells; developing a business strategy to grow GM s accessories business; as well as developed the Global Portfolio assessments for the GM Board of Directors Business Plan Review.

The melding of product engineering, business and strategy and balancing the levers of each is the key to success in any business. As proven in my track record, I am an objectives-oriented and results-driven leader with vast experience in all the critical areas required to optimize this balance and succeed.

Work History

Work History
Mar 2005 - Present

Manager, Global Strategy and Business Development


·  Champion the establishment of GM’s Corporate Venture Capital initiative.  Act as GM’s “window-on-technology” forming strategic partnerships, and leveraging start-up innovation & technology development.

·  Establish/maintain relationships with top-tier venture capital firms and develop operating strategies / processes that yield access to cutting-edge technologies annually for review by GM Subject Matter Experts.

·  Enhance GM’s Global R&D network through implementation of collaborative research tools to drive emerging technology development timing improvements and growth initiative strategies. 

·  Drive projects and new technologies through the early research and development phases of the process including getting buy-in from GM’s executive leadership team (70+ technologies evaluating leading to 5 deals in 2007)

·  Serve as interface for R&D and technology community for business related issues while dealing with internal and external innovators (technologies include: electronics, controls, software, battery, materials, powertrain, telematics, manufacturing, etc)

·  Lead negotiations of contracts, strategic alliances, and joint ventures with industry partners and service providers, interface with GM internal functional groups (Performance Equity Management, GM Legal, Treasurers Office, etc).

·  Directly responsible for development of R&D global supplier collaboration strategy with objective of saving GM $50 Million annually through leveraging supplier development of technology.

·  IP Commercialization liaison for GM R&D leading to monetization of patent portfolio through out-licensing

·  Awarded medal from the Department of Defense for work on GM’s Autonomous vehicle “BOSS” at November 2007 DARPA Urban Grand Challenge

Mar 2003 - Mar 2005

Manager, Strategic Initiatives


·  Drive corporate ASB (Automotive Strategy Board, top 15 GM executives) strategic initiative projects to succinct resolution and recommendations based on strategic analytical and business case assessments.

·  GMSI group reports directly to the VP of R&D, Planning and CFO of GM.

·  Led project work related to:  Dealer Network Development, Fuel Cell Development, GM Accessories Business Strategy Development, GM 2005 Business Plan, Software Commercialization, and Growth in Emerging Markets.

·  Link with external thought leaders to augment GM's capabilities and to introduce new ideas and techniques to theorganization, build an understanding of future trends and successful business designs, potential GM impact

Mar 2001 - Mar 2003

Manager, Business Development


·  Manage strategic partnership deals on a global core team focused on IT new business development / company equity share opportunities related to e-commerce ( Manager position is four levels from GM CEO, IS&S is a $3.5 Billion organization).

·  Completed equity share / strategic partnership deals with Black-Scholes valuation exceeding $2 Million in value for GM.

·  Led deal team consisting of members from GM Treasurers Office (NYTO), GM Legal, Business Unit Executives, Public Relations, Tax Staff, and Finance.

·  GM’s IT Corporate Venture Fund lead related to research and financial analysis for General Motors Chief Information Officer for multi-Million dollar capital investment funding decisions, including financial proforma breakdown, cash flow analysis, sensitivity analysis, market forecasts, IPO potential and other related analysis as needed.

·  Co-lead GM alliance integration efforts related to information technology with objective of contributing $5 Million in economic benefit via sharing IT best practices and leverage sourcing contracts.

Sep 1998 - Mar 2001

Director, Business and Strategic Planing

GreenLeaf LLC (Ford Motor Subsidiary)

·  Core team leader in developing comprehensive business and financial technical models for Project GreenLeaf which resulted in board approval of $250 Million in funding and launch of new subsidiary.  GreenLeaf is a $150 Million business with 33 locations and 1400 employees, Directors interfaced with the CEO and CFO on a daily basis.

·  Led GreenLeaf Mergers & Acquisitions team in closing 7 transactions in 2000 resulting in additional $50+ Million in top-line revenue. Including overture and initial assessment, target valuation based on financial modeling, growth potential and synergy identification.  Fully orchestrated due diligence process including legal, environmental, real estate, and financial.

·  Developed 5-year business case forecast with operations team to assess new acquisition capital expenditure requirements and growth potential .

·  Re-engineered the M&A process resulting in up-front revenue/profit/capital spending forecasting and buy-in from operations committee prior to completion of transactions.  New process also resulted in savings of $20 Million on transactions annually.   

·  Led all strategic business planning initiatives related to M&A, including regional network assessment, target identification and initial overtures.

·  Fully responsible for operating $5 Million automotive recycling business, Ford’s first GreenLeaf acquisition, including Profit & Loss, production, and managing 30+ employees.

Jul 1990 - Sep 1998

Lead Engineer

Ford Motor Company

·Responsible for engineering design & release of $30 Million worth of body structural components and systems.  Design underbody systems within highly complex vehicle cost, weight, performance and timing constraints.

·  Led team in achieving product development deliverables, engineering design & verification, product analysis, weight engineering, program definition, program management interface at executive level to deliver a performance luxury vehicle for the global market in World Class Timing and within Worldwide Customer Requirements.

·  Lead for design and release of audio system, packaging of components in forward model vehicles. Launch support to assure proper installation of vehicle components.  Patent granted for fastener-free amplifier bracket.


Jan 1991 - Dec 1993

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Sep 1986 - Jul 1990

Bachelor of Science - Engineering