General Motors Co. is hiring Mike Abbott, former vice president of engineering for Apple’s Cloud Services division, as the automaker’s executive vice president of software, the company said Tuesday.
Abbott takes on the newly created position May 22. He will report to GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra.
Abbott will head a new software organization within GM that’s “focused on the development of vehicle and enterprise software technologies and solutions, and delivery of digital services and features to retail and commercial customers,” the company said in a press release.
The new team will bring together for the first time three software departments within the company, including teams led by Scott Miller, vice president, software defined vehicle and operating system; Stacy Lynett, vice president, information and digital technology; and Edward Kummer, chief digital officer, digital business.
Abbott has technology industry experience in cloud computing, storage, networking and security. While at Apple, Abbott led the team responsible for developing core infrastructure for all of the tech company’s cloud-based services.
Automakers, including GM, see software as a growth area and are developing their own platforms as they push to become known as more than vehicle manufacturers.
GM recently announced it would not offer consumers the phone projection systems Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on future EVs. Instead, it’s developed a system with Google that GM says is more integrated with the vehicle. It will help customers with EV routing based on real-time data. The system can show drivers the vehicle’s state of charge, locate charging stations and share their availability.
In 2021, GM introduced Ultifi, a new software program rolling out this year that allows customers to personalize their vehicles and interact with them remotely. GM intends to use the Ultifi system as another revenue stream by connecting with third-party developers to use the platform for their applications.
The Detroit automaker expects its annual software and services revenue could reach the $20-$25 billion by 2030.
“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 press release on Abbott’s hiring. “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 said in a statement he’s “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.“
He added: “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 worked at Apple from 2018 until earlier this year. Bloomberg, citing sources, reported in March that Abbott would step down from his role in April.
He’s also been a visiting scholar at Stanford’s Artificial Intelligence Lab and a general partner at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers where he focused on investments in mobile and cloud computing, as well as working with entrepreneurs. Abbott led teams developing applications and services at Twitter, Palm and Microsoft.