Former GM battery head becomes LG Chem Power’s chief exec

Denise Gray — a well known industry figure for her pioneering work at General Motors on the Chevrolet Volt — became chief executive of LG Chem Power on October 1. She succeeds Prabhakar Patil, chief executive for the past 10 years, who has retired.

Gray most recently worked as vice president of electrification powertrain engineering at AVL List, where she was responsible for AVL’s Electrification Business Unit. Before that she was a vice president at Atieva, a Californian start-up developing an electric vehicle.

But she is best known as director of Global Battery Systems Engineering at General Motors, where her team — growing from 25 to 200 — successfully developed and launched the lithium-ion battery system used in the Chevrolet Volt, working closely with the LG Chem team. She left GM in February 2010.

She had joined General Motors as an engineer in 1981 working on electro mechanical systems moving up in 1992 to work on power train software until 2000. For the next six years she worked as a director of related products, first for powertrain software engineering, then global engine and transmission electronic controls and then as global transmission controls engineering.