Ford Motor Company last week announced the establishment of a new subsidiary: Ford Smart Mobility, LLC. The new entity is poised to take over most of the automaker’s “Smart Mobility” efforts, which include experiments in per-mile car rental and shuttle service on several continents.
No matter what transportation service Ford is looking to branch out into, software is key. Perhaps that’s why one of the new subsidiary’s branches will be in Palo Alto, California, and why Ford is turning to Silicon Valley and elsewhere on the West Coast for a tech executive to lead as the company’s first CEO.
As website Re/code reports, Ford Motor Company CEO Mark Fields has reached out to a “handful” of qualified candidates on the West Coast to try and snag a proven executive to serve as CEO of Ford Smart Mobility, LLC. Board member Jim Hackett has been named chairman of the new subsidiary; the CEO would be responsible for overseeing the execution of whatever plans he lays out.
Fields told Re/code that the new LLC is a “proof point” of the automaker’s commitment to the Smart Mobility plan, and allows for flexibility and expedience with regard to development; “separate but connected” is how he’s characterized it. “We’re also cognizant it’s a bit of a talent-war race, particularly in the area of mobility services,” he said.
Beside Palo Alto, Ford Smart Mobility, LLC also has operations in the automaker’s hometown of Dearborn, Michigan.