In a strategic move aimed at propelling innovation, Ford Motor announced on Monday its decision to bring on board Apple veteran, Peter Stern, to head a newly established division dedicated to spearheading the development and marketing of software-driven customer experiences for the automotive giant.
A New Era of Leadership
Peter Stern, previously serving as the Vice President of Services at Apple, will now take the reins as the President of “Ford Integrated Services.” This role will see him embarking on his new journey with the automaker immediately. Stern’s extensive background in services and technology at Apple makes him a prime candidate to lead Ford’s pursuit of software-based revenue streams.
Navigating New Terrain
Monetizing emerging software offerings has become a critical pursuit for automotive companies, especially when it comes to features like advanced driver-assist systems, safety enhancements, and added conveniences. This transition to software subscriptions represents a significant shift in how automakers can generate recurring revenue, and Ford is positioning itself to be a frontrunner in this endeavor.
The Visionary Leadership
Reporting directly to CEO Jim Farley, Peter Stern joins the ranks of a diverse management team, infused with talent from both within and outside the automotive industry. This approach aligns with Ford’s overarching strategy known as Ford+, which aims to reshape the company’s landscape by combining innovative hardware and software solutions.
A Reckoning with the Tech Industry
This decision resonates with a larger trend of automotive industry leaders turning to the technology sector for fresh perspectives and expertise. In a notable move, Jim Farley previously brought on Doug Field, a former executive from both Tesla and Apple, to lead Ford’s technological advancements.
A Glimpse into the Future
CEO Jim Farley stated, “This is transformational because the cornerstone of our Ford+ plan is creating incredible customer services and experiences enabled by great hardware and software. There’s simply no one in the world better able than Peter Stern to build this strategically vital part of our business.” This sentiment underscores the pivotal role that software innovation will play in Ford’s pursuit of excellence.
The Ongoing Evolution
Ford’s ongoing restructuring, driven by the Ford+ plan, represents a deliberate effort to enhance operational efficiency while simultaneously positioning the company to make substantial investments in key areas, including electric vehicles, software solutions, and other emerging technologies.
A Legacy at Apple
Stern’s legacy at Apple is impressive, with a tenure of over six years as the Vice President of Services. During his time, he played a crucial role in launching a range of successful initiatives, including Apple TV+, Apple News+, Apple Arcade, Apple Fitness+, MLS Season Pass, and Apple One. This experience equips him with a unique blend of vision and expertise that Ford seeks to leverage.
In a landscape where technology is redefining the automotive industry, Ford’s move to bring in Peter Stern from Apple is a testament to the company’s commitment to innovation and adaptation. As the industry shifts towards software-enabled experiences, Stern’s leadership is poised to drive Ford’s success in this new frontier.