General Motors said May 9 that it has hired Mike Abbott, who led cloud services at Apple Inc., to be its executive vice president of software.
Abbott, 50, will begin in the newly created role May 22, reporting to CEO Mary Barra, GM said. He will lead a reorganized software team focused on information and digital technology, software-defined vehicle and operating systems, and digital business.
Abbott's hire comes shortly after GM said its upcoming electric vehicles would not offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto smartphone connectivity. The automaker instead plans to implement its own embedded software solution, developed with Google Inc.
"We have entered the next phase of our technology driven transformation focused on rapidly scaling new EV models and our Ultifi software platform, which will drive faster innovation and enable new and exciting customer experiences," Barra said in a statement. "Mike's experience as a founder and entrepreneur coupled with his proven track record creating and delivering some of the market's most compelling software-defined solutions for consumers and companies make him an excellent fit at GM."
Abbott has been vice president of engineering for Apple's cloud services team, which developed the infrastructure for iCloud and iMessage. He previously was general partner at venture capital fund Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, where he worked on investments around mobile and cloud computing, and had roles at Twitter, Palm and Microsoft, GM said.
Abbott was a visiting scholar at the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab at Stanford University, researching computer vision.
His hiring comes as GM continues work on its Ultifi software platform and the development of software-defined vehicles. The automaker sees software and subscription services as a key future revenue driver.
"I'm a product person at heart, so as the transformation of transportation quickly accelerates, I know that software is the catalyst for redefining experiences for consumers and enterprises like never before," Abbott said in GM's statement. "GM is playing a pivotal role in this shift and I'm excited to join the team and bring my experience in software to bear to not only take advantage of the massive opportunities that lay ahead for the company but to help change the world."
Abbott will oversee teams led by Scott Miller, vice president of software defined vehicle and operating system; Stacy Lynett, vice president of information and digital technology; and Edward Kummer, chief digital officer, all of whom will remain in their roles, GM said.