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Ford taps Apple exec to lead new software services unit

Ford has hired Peter Stern, a former executive at Apple, to lead its newly formed Ford Integrated Services unit.

Ford taps Apple exec to lead new software services unit

Ford has hired Peter Stern, former executive Apple, to lead its newly formed Ford Integrated Services unit. The unit will create and market -enabled customer experiences across Ford' three units: Ford Blue, for gas and hybrid vehicles, Model e for connected EVs, and Ford Pro for commercial products.

As the era of the software-defined vehicle takes hold, Ford is actively building out services to personalize the driver experience, connect hardware and software and bring in new streams. While Ford generated $45 billion in revenue in the second quarter, the automaker expects its EV business to lose $4.5 billion in 2023. The automaker is betting software to help close that gap.

Ford Integrated Services will responsible for further developing technology like Ford's BlueCruise ‘hands-free' highway driver assistance system, which is currently priced at $2,100. The new unit will also focus on commercial solutions for fleet , telematics and EV . Ford says it already has 550,000 paid software and services subscribers, with 80% of those customers coming from Ford Pro.

Stern will also oversee Ford Next, the automaker's global venture studio, according to the automaker.

Ford Next's CEO, Franck Louis-Victor, was arrested in July on felony charges of arson and assault with a deadly weapon after a domestic dispute at his home. The charges were dismissed, but Louis-Victor no longer appears to be working at Ford. Ford says he in on leave. Louis-Victor previously oversaw a unit dedicated to technology-forward customer experiences.

Stern will report directly to Farley. The executive previously served as vice president of Services at Apple and headed the launch of services like Apple TV+, +, , Apple Fitness+, MLS Season Pass and Apple One.

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

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Rebecca Bellan

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