Ford Motor Co. has acquired the services of former General Motors executive Don Butler. He is now in charge of leading Ford’s new global vehicle connectivity department as executive director of connected vehicles and services. “Not only does Don understand the connected car landscape, but probably just as important, he understands customer expectations,” said Raj Nair, Ford’s global product development chief, in a statement.
He remarked that Don is a leader with technology experience both inside and outside the auto industry. Ford has disclosed it will expand its Sync AppLink that allows users to control smartphone apps using voice commands by an additional 3.4 million vehicles in 2014. A 25-year veteran in GM with roles in marketing and product planning, Butler made a surprise exit from GM.
He was Cadillac’s top marketing executive from March 2010 to April, when he was named to a global business development post. Butler also had held marketing roles at Pontiac, Chevrolet and OnStar and was in charge of GM Egypt from 2005 to 2007. In 2009, Butler departed GM for a telematics startup in Seattle before returning as Cadillac’s marketing boss.