General Motors has hired a former Apple executive to help it develop in-vehicle software features for car buyers.
GM announced Tuesday that Mike Abbott, the former vice president of engineering for Apple’s cloud services division, will join GM as executive vice president of software starting May 22. Abbott will report to CEO Mary Barra.
“His team will be responsible for the entire software ecosystem, from inception and development of both consumer and enterprise solutions through to the delivery of new exciting digital services and features,” GM spokesman Darryll Harrison told the Detroit Free Press, part of the USA TODAY Network.
Harrison said some of the features and services that Abbott’s team will deliver will be subscriptions and some will be standard offerings.
GM is looking to generate more income through subscription-based services. It said last year that software-as-a-service will generate $20 billion to $25 billion annually in revenue by 2030. That could include paying for cloud-based services, but GM has so far stopped short of saying it will charge for perks like heated seats as some luxury automakers do.
Abbott’s position is new and so is his team, which brings together what are currently separate software functions. The teams are 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 of digital business.
Abbott brings experience in cloud computing, storage, networking and security. As vice president of Apple’s cloud services team, his team developed core infrastructure for all of Apple’s cloud-based services, including iCloud iMessage, Private Relay, Mail and account security. His team also created products for Apple’s education and enterprise categories.
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“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,” said Barra. “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.”
Abbot said software is the “catalyst for redefining experiences for consumers and enterprises like never before. GM is playing a pivotal role in this shift.”
Abbot’s experience includes serving as a visiting scholar at Stanford’s Artificial Intelligence Lab and he was a general partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, which focused on investments in mobile and cloud computing and working with entrepreneurs. Abbott has also led teams to develop innovative, secure, and high-performance applications and services at Twitter, Palm and Microsoft.
Contact Jamie L. LaReau: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @jlareauan.