GM appoints former AV, EV head to lead product development
General Motors Co.'s head of autonomy and electrification will now lead the Detroit automaker's global product development, a move made as the automaker focuses its efforts on an electric future.
GM has promoted Doug Parks from vice president of autonomous and electric vehicle programs to executive vice president of global product development, purchasing and supply chain, the automaker announced Wednesday.
The position previously was held by Mark Reuss, who became president of the company in January. Parks will report to Reuss and will join the company’s senior leadership team.
Parks' move to head product development happens as GM prepares to introduce 20 different electric vehicle nameplates by 2023.
GM plans to invest $3 billion in its Detroit-Hamtramck plant to build electric trucks. And earlier this year, GM said it would invest $300 million at its Lake Orion assembly plant north of Detroit, where the all-electric Chevrolet Bolt is built, to produce a new Chevrolet EV. The new EV will be designed off an advanced version of the Bolt's architecture.
While heading up autonomous and electric vehicle programs, Parks worked on the launch of Super Cruise, a hands-free driving technology for compatible highways on the 2018 Cadillac CT6; oversaw the engineering team behind the Cruise AV; and led the electrification team responsible for developing GM’s all-new electric vehicle architecture, and increasing the 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV’s range to 259 miles on single charge.
New changes also include Reuss' role expanding to include overseeing the company’s regions: North America, South America, China and International. He continues to report to Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. Barry Engle, executive vice president and president of GM North America and Matt Tsien, executive vice president and president of GM China will now report to Reuss.
“Our industry is transforming faster than at any time in its history,” Barra said in a statement. “Aligning our regional operations under Mark will drive even greater collaboration and speed-to-market, and accelerate growth opportunities in our core business and in the future of mobility.”
Parks has been vice president of autonomous and electric vehicle programs since 2016. He was previously vice president for global product programs and has had a variety of engineering leadership positions since joining GM in 1984.
Additional new appointments announced Wednesday include: Ken Morris, vice president of global product programs, will become vice president of autonomous and EV programs; Steve Kiefer, senior vice president of global purchasing and supply chain will become senior vice president and president of GM South America and international operations; Tim Herrick, executive chief engineer, full-size trucks, will be promoted to vice president of global product programs; and Shilpan Amin, executive director of interior and exterior global purchasing and supply chain, will be promoted to vice president of the global purchasing and supply chain.