Ford hires new chief digital information officer as it seeks to expand into software and services

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

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Hire is just the latest sign that Ford is serious about expanding its digital offerings for customers, as the company looks to move towards the high-tech segment. The company calls this plan “Ford+,” which it introduced earlier this year. Central to the plan is electric vehicles, which Ford wants to comprise nearly half of its global sales by 2030, as well as expanding into new sources of revenue through subscriptions and digital services.

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

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The revision isn’t Ford’s only recent fare note. The automaker recently hunted Doug Field — the tech executive who led Apple’s special projects team, and who led Model 3 development at Tesla — as chief advanced technology and embedded systems officer. Ford said the two would work closely with product major Hau Thai-Tang.

Amend’s career has included 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.

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