Ford decided some time ago to largely eschew traditional forms of advertising and instead focus on things like connected vehicle services, customer experience, and the post-purchase timeline as a way to build brand loyalty and even attract new customers. The automaker has also been keen to hire quite a few of its newer executives away from tech companies like Apple, and its latest acquisition is no exception, as The Blue Oval has recruited former Apple veteran Peter Stern to serve as the president of the newly formed Ford Integrated Services division.
Ford Integrated Services will create and market software-enabled customer experiences across Ford Blue, Model e, and Ford Pro, according to the automaker, and Peter Stern seems like the perfect fit to lead that effort given the fact that he served as the vice president of services at Apple for more than six years, and was a driving force behind the launch of the tech giant’s expansive portfolio of services, including Apple TV+, Apple News+, Apple Arcade, Apple Fitness+, MLS Season Pass, and Apple One.
“This is transformational, because the cornerstone of our Ford+ plan is creating incredible customer services and experiences enabled by great hardware and software,” said Ford CEO Jim Farley. “There’s simply no one in the world better able than Peter Stern to build this strategically vital part of our business.” At Ford, Stern will be tasked with leading the company’s services marketing, select out-of-vehicle customer experiences, and Ford Next, as well as building out the automaker’s BlueCruise hands-free highway driver assist feature business.
“I love creating new services businesses and this is the perfect chance to do just that,” Stern said. “The auto industry is undergoing an unprecedented transformation, from gas engines to electric vehicles and from human to autonomous driving. At the same time, the basis for differentiation is shifting from the vehicles alone to the integration of hardware, software, and services. I’ll be in the middle of something truly historic and am particularly fortunate to do that at Ford, which has been democratizing automotive technology for 120 years and counting. You couple that with the Ford family’s involvement in the business and commitment to doing the right thing in the long term and this is really where I belong.”