During a fireside chat at the Automotive Press Association with CNBC reporter and APA president Michael Wayland, GM chair and CEO Mary Barra enthusiastically declared 2024 a Year of Excitement as GM stays focused on its strategy of accelerating its Electric Vehicle portfolio. Mary Barra has been pivoting GM from an old-line car manufacturer to become a hip industrial technology-driven company.
According to the book, Titanium Economy, industrial technology companies can create a better, faster, stronger America creating prosperous tech hubs as they merge manufacturing with the sizzle of Silicon Valley software. Marc Andreessen famously stated in 2011 that “Software is eating the world.” He was so correct. Silicon Valley companies have been the bellwether siren of the stock market. When they go up, the market goes up. They have employed millions of high-wage techies creating an infinite loop of wealth.
Automation Alley and Silicon Valley are merging right here in Detroit to create a global Titanium Economy. GM has recruited Silicon Valley heavyweights to speed its pivotal transformation as a technology-driven company. These heavyweights are:
Alan Wexler Senior Vice President, Innovation and Growth,
Mike Abbott Executive Vice President, Software
Lin-Hua Wu Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer
Check out their impressive backgrounds and knowledge base.
Alan Wexler is the former chairman and CEO of the digital business transformation firm Publicis Sapient, where he was responsible for creating, executing and sustaining overall corporate strategies, including identifying future growth opportunities and driving innovation throughout the company.
“Alan brings a proven track record and decades of experience leading a culture of innovation and customer-driven technology solutions,” said Mary Barra. “With Alan’s background, he is well positioned to help accelerate our transformation by challenging the status quo, disrupting the business and executing strategies that will lead to future growth.”
He relishes in the culture and transformation of the Detroit riverfront as a serious runner.
Mike Abbott is the Software executive vice president, leading a new integrated end-to-end software organization focused on the development of vehicle and enterprise software technologies and solutions, and the delivery of digital services and features to retail and commercial customers. He is the former vice president of engineering for Apple’s Cloud Services division.
“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.”
“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,” said Abbott. “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.”
Lin-Hua Wu hails from Google where she was vice president of Global Communications and Public Affairs. Before Google, Wu worked at Dropbox from 2016-2021, including serving as chief communications officer. Prior to Dropbox, she served as the head of corporate communications for Square (now Block), the financial services and mobile payments company.
“Wu’s broad experience and background will help drive more effective internal and external communications around our EV transformation and accelerated growth strategy,” said GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra. “Her extensive technology and Silicon Valley experience is the perfect fit for communicating our story as a technology-driven company that enables a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion.”
Lin-Hua Wu is a member of the Board of Trustees of GLIDE, a nationally recognized center for social justice, dedicated to fighting systemic injustices, creating pathways out of poverty and crisis, and transforming lives.
Having met these heavyweights personally during the GM-APA reception, I too, am excited for GM’s 2024 year. You should be, too, as GM remains committed to its EV investments that will boldly change the world. The Black community has been instrumental in the continual growth of the auto industry, accounting for 11 percent of traditional auto purchases. Imagine if our 4 percent of EV Purchases grew to 11 percent. The year 2024 would usher in life-altering business opportunities, wealth, and environmental health for Detroiters and Black residents across America. Let’s Adopt an EV mindset.
Ida Byrd-Hill is CEO of Automation Workz, a tech reskilling firm, powered by a skills assessment app, that trains underrepresented front-liners in AI and data analytics, cybersecurity ops, network engineering, IoT and soon EV battery technology. Automation Workz has been ranked in the Top 10 Cybersecurity Bootcamps in the U.S.
Byrd-Hill is a graduate of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor with a BA in economics and an MBA with Jack Welch Management Institute at Strayer University.
She is a member of the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, CEO Talent Council; Chair of West Michigan African American Tech Readiness Collaborative, and member of the Electric Vehicle Jobs Academy.
Bryd-Hill is the author of eight books, including Invisible Talent Market-Solving the Talent Shortage Without Outsourcing and Visas. firstname.lastname@example.org www.autoworkz.org