On Wednesday, General Motors (NYSE:GM) announced that after a 36-year career at the company, Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer, and Controller Nick Cyprus has decided to retire. To replace him, GM is poaching Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer, and Corporate Controller Thomas S. Timko.

Timko will take over Cyprus' duties and positions effective March 18, after which Cyprus will remain at the company in some other capacity until the date of his official retirement, July 15.

Picking a semiconductor equipment maker exec to replace a hard-boiled car guy may seem a strange choice. But GM notes that Timko has experience in all the roles necessary to do the job -- ensuring "financial due diligence and integration," developing "consolidated strategic and annual operating plans," providing earnings guidance to Wall Street, and so on. Plus, before taking on the CAO role at Applied Mats, Timko was CAO at Delphi Automotive.

And the kicker? According to GM Chief Financial Officer Dan Ammann, Timko has "a 1968 Corvette in his garage."

GM investors certainly liked the news. On a down day for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, GM shares were up 0.4%, closing at $28.67.

Fool contributor Rich Smith has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends General Motors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.