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General Motors restructures IT to develop $25bn software business

Carmaker has divided its IT function, one part focusing on the back office, the other on its software-defined business opportunity

General Motors has restructured its IT function to support its goal of growing software-enabled services revenue to $25bn a year by 2030. The IT role has been split into two, one focusing on back-office IT, while the other is a new digital business software function.

Following the retirement of Randy Mott as global information technology and chief information officer, the car giant has named Fred Killeen as his replacement, reporting to GM chair and CEO Mary Barra. Through the restructuring, Killeen heads up the traditional back-office IT function and will lead the global IT team, responsible for enabling IT assets and solutions across the enterprise in support of GM’s overall global business.

GM has also appointed Stacy Lynett as vice-president of digital business software, reporting to chief digital officer Edward Kummer. Lynett leads a newly formed and growing team responsible for technology strategy and software product development for customers. 

“The new structure and dual operating model will enable GM to fully leverage its strong foundation in IT capability, talent and resources, as well as reduce complexity and improve speed,” said Barra. “Stacy and Fred bring unique backgrounds and experiences to help us seize the opportunities that software plays in our business as we move from automaker to platform innovator.”

While Killeen’s team will focus on GM’s global back-office IT support, Lynett’s team is focused on making software the business at GM, which includes the technology strategy and software product development to deliver new products and services for customers. GM said both teams will continue to collaborate on driving innovation, providing software and technology to support the company, along with hiring and developing tech talent within GM.

Killeen previously served as chief information security officer and chief technology officer for GM IT, responsible for the company’s gobal information security and IT risk management programmes. He has also been CTO for GM IT since 2005. 

Lynett previously worked as executive director and CIO of global product development and quality for GM IT, and CIO for GM’s global corporate function, responsible for deploying Workday and supporting legal and communications IT systems. She has also had CIO roles supporting GM IT global operations and the company’s enterprise SAP development and delivery function.

Many carmakers are following Tesla’s lead in using software to differentiate their cars. Lynett’s role and the formation of the digital business software business function is the next phase of GM’s plans focusing on the development of software-based products and services. In September, the carmaker unveiled Ultifi, an end-to-end software platform said to have been designed to unlock new vehicle experiences and connect customers’ digital lives.

According to GM, Ultifi will provide delivery of software-defined features, apps and services to customers over the air and offers the potential for more cloud-based services, faster software development and new opportunities to increase customer loyalty. “Now with Ultifi, we will be able to improve our software continuously, and deliver new features and apps to customers in a fraction of the time,” said GM president Mark Reuss.

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