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Ford hires new CIO as it looks to grow in software and services – TechCrunch

Ford Motor has hired Mike Amend as chief digital and information officer as the automaker looks to expand into software, subscriptions and in-car connectivity. Amend, who served as president of Lowe’s Online for three years, will focus on Ford’s “use of data, software and technology” – all areas critical to Ford’s new Ford + strategy, OEM said .

Leasing is just the latest sign that Ford is seriously considering boosting its digital offerings for customers, as the company looks to shift to high-tech segments. The company calls the plan “Ford +,” which it unveiled earlier this year. At the heart of that plan are electric vehicles, which Ford wants to account for roughly half of its global sales by 2030, as well as expansion into new revenue streams through subscriptions and digital services.

To this end, Amend will oversee a number of teams, including Ford’s technology and software platform function and its global data analytics and analysis section.

Amend isn’t Ford’s only recent hire. The automaker also recently hired Doug Field – the technical lead who led Apple’s special projects team and also led Model 3 development at Tesla – as director of advanced technology and on-board systems. The two will work closely, with product manager Hau Thai-Tang, Ford said.

Amend’s career includes growing the online businesses of major retailers including Lowe’s, The Home Depot and JCPenney. Ford’s interim chief information officer, Sakis Kitsopanidis, will continue to serve as director of integrated enterprise resource planning.