Ford hires Apple veteran to lead consumer software efforts

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An electric Ford truck is displayed during the Electrify Expo In D.C. on July 23, 2023 in Washington, DC.
Nathan Howard | Getty Images

DETROIT – Ford Motor said Monday that it has hired Apple veteran Peter Stern to lead a newly created division focused on developing and marketing software-enabled customer experiences for the automaker.

Stern, who most recently served as vice president of services at Apple, will be president of “Ford Integrated Services.” He starts with the automaker immediately.

Monetizing emerging software offerings such as advanced driver-assist systems as well as other safety and convenience features is viewed as a major challenge for automakers, as they try to increase reoccurring revenue through software subscriptions.

Stern will report directly to CEO Jim Farley, who has added a slew of executives from outside the automotive industry to his management team – many from the tech sector – to assist in implementing the company’s Ford+ restructuring plan.

Most notably, Farley poached former Tesla and Apple executive Doug Field to lead Ford’s technology efforts.

“This is transformational, because the cornerstone of our Ford+ plan is creating incredible customer services and experiences enabled by great hardware and software,” Farley said in a release. “There’s simply no one in the world better able than Peter Stern to build this strategically vital part of our business.”

Ford has been restructuring its operations for several years under its Ford+ plan, led by Farley. The plan is focused on making the automaker’s operations more efficient, while better positioning the automaker for investments in electric vehicles, software and other emerging technologies.

Stern served as vice president of services at Apple for more than six years through January, overseeing efforts such as Apple TV+, Apple News+, Apple Arcade, Apple Fitness+, MLS Season Pass and Apple One.

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