Apple’s former head of iCloud will be in charge of making GM car software without CarPlay

Home » Apple’s former head of iCloud will be in charge of making GM car software without CarPlay
Apple's former head of iCloud will be in charge of making GM car software without CarPlay

Here’s a twist in the ongoing story of GM and CarPlay. General Motors has hired Mike Abbott to run its software team, the company announced today. That’s the same Mike Abbott who just left Apple after spending five years in charge of iCloud software.

Abbott’s role at Apple included leadership over iCloud services and infrastructure including iMessage and FaceTime. At GM, Abbott will serve as executive vice president of software and report directly to GM CEO Mary Barra.

As a member of the senior leadership team, Abbott will lead a new integrated end-to-end software organization focused on the development of vehicle and enterprise software technologies and solutions, and delivery of digital services and features to retail and commercial customers. The newly created team will bring together three now distinct software functions within the company, including teams led by Scott Miller, vice president, Software Defined Vehicle and Operating System; Stacy Lynett, vice president, Information and Digital Technology; and Edward Kummer, chief digital officer, Digital Business.

The news, of course, comes on the heels of GM officially abandoning Apple CarPlay in favor of its own in-car software built on Android Automative.

General Motors has long supported CarPlay, which lets drivers connect their iPhone to the infotainment system for controlling music and phone calls. However, the automaker is using the industry transition from internal combustion engine cars to electric vehicles as an opportunity to take full ownership of the in-car entertainment experience.

“I’m a product person at heart, so as the transformation of transportation quickly accelerates, I know that software is the catalyst for redefining experiences for consumers and enterprises like never before,” said Abbott. “GM is playing a pivotal role in this shift and I’m excited to join the team and bring my experience in software to bear to not only take advantage of the massive opportunities that lay ahead for the company but to help change the world.”

Did Abbott know what he was signing up for when he left Apple to take the job? Undoubtedly. Does GM now having Apple’s former cloud services boss mean its post-CarPlay strategy will work? It doesn’t hurt, but drivers like CarPlay because it integrates everything from their iPhone with their car.

Having someone who used to work at Apple be in charge of managing your Android Automative stack doesn’t really change the equation.

However, it does put one more former Apple executive at a car company now while Apple’s Project Titan-ic car efforts continue in whatever capacity.

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