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General Motors Co. has named a new head of global vehicle safety.

Jeffrey Massimilla, the company’s chief cybersecurity officer, will become vice president for Global Vehicle Safety and Cybersecurity.

He replaces Jeff Boyer, who was tapped in 2014 to head safety for GM in the midst of the ignition switch crisis. Boyer retires after 43 years with the automaker.

Massimilla, who has worked for GM since 2001, will be responsible for reducing cybersecurity threats and risks with vehicles and connected services, as well as safety development and safety issues including recalls.

“In today’s connected world, combating cybersecurity threats have become an integral part of our continued company commitment to quickly identifying and resolving product safety issues of all kinds, so it’s a natural extension for us to combine these two roles into one,” GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra said in a statement. “Jeff is a strong leader with a solid track record of leveraging best practices and key learnings to further enhance the safety and security of GM’s vehicles and connected services.”

In 2014, GM recalled 2.59 million older compact cars with faulty ignition switches that could slip out of the “run” position, causing air bags to be disabled in crashes. The recall ultimately was connected to 124 deaths and hundreds of injuries.

GM was fined $900 million by the U.S. Justice Department over the faulty ignition switches and has revamped its safety and recall processes and implemented a Speak Up for Safety Program for employees, suppliers and dealers to flag potential issues.

mburden@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2319

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