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GM Creates Technological Chief Position

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On: Tue, Jan 25, 2011 at 10:55AM | By: Chris Weiss

GM Creates Technological Chief Position

Over the past few years, the technological and automotive industries have been tied more and more closely. Cars are now controlled with the help of advanced computer systems, and advanced GPS systems help drivers navigate and find businesses and services that they need. Over the past two to three years, the amount of technology in vehicles has spiked, extending to such features as in-vehicle Wi-Fi, voice-activated texting and email, and advanced smartphone-integrating infotainment systems.

So it should come as no surprise that companies are looking to compete and one-up each other on vehicular technologies. And in order to position itself as a technological leader, GM created a new senior executive post to oversee its technology efforts. The company named Vice Chairman Thomas Stephens its first Global Chief Technology Officer.

Stephens' position will entail overseeing technology development and putting GM in a leading market position for vehicular technologies. In terms of the Detroit Big 3, GM has often lagged behind in integrating new technologies into vehicles. Chrysler was the first of the three companies to offer in-vehicle Wi-Fi back in 2008, and Ford has shown industry-leading innovation in its Sync and MyFord Touch systems.

GM CEO Daniel Akerson said of Stephen's new role: "Customers today expect and deserve the very best technology from their GM vehicles. Tom will make sure that GM technology keeps up with our customers and keeps ahead of our competitors."

In addition to peripheral technologies, Stephens will look to develop driving-oriented technologies including fuel efficiency-boosting technology and advanced safety features.

Stephens is a 42-year veteran at GM and has served in a host of roles including engine factory manager, assistant chief engineer, executive vice engineer of global powertrain and, most recently, vice chairman of global product operations. Stephens will assume his new role on February 1 and will report directly to Akerson.


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