GM Hires Outsider to Plot Innovation, Growth Strategies
General Motors has gone outside the company for a leader of its global innovation and growth strategies.
Alan Wexler (Image: GM)
The outsider is Alan Wexler, a former chairman and CEO of the Sapient digital business consulting services of French advertising giant Publicis. He will begin his new role as senior vice president of innovation and growth on Aug. 17, reporting to CEO Mary Barra.
Barra says Wexler’s mission will be to help GM transition from carmaker to transportation provider by “challenging the status quo, disrupting the business and executing strategies that will lead to future growth.”
That means Wexler will have his hands full orchestrating GM’s shift to electrification and its adoption of “big data” analysis, vehicle connectivity and autonomous driving technologies.
He won’t be going it alone. Wexler will oversee and coordinate several existing GM initiatives in those subject areas, including its Data and Customer Insights, Global Connected Services, and Innovation and Strategy teams.
At Publicis, Wexler served as CEO of SapientNitro and then SapientRazorfish. Both units merged in 2016 and joined Sapient Consulting as units of Publicis, Sapient, two years later, with Wexler heading the new division.
Years of Experience
Before joining Sapient, he ran an independent business and technology consulting company that specialized in digital transformation.
Barra cites Wexler’s “decades of experience” in establishing and encouraging cultures of innovation that use digital tools to enhance customer relations. She’s not exaggerating. Wexler has been doing what he does since the late 1980s.
Alphabet Inc.'s Waymo unit is studying how best to expand its autonomous vehicle technology into Europe.
Toyota Motor Corp. is encouraging employees at its research and development center near Ann Arbor, Mich., to participate in an on-going program there to test connected vehicle technologies.
Perhaps it has something to do with comparatively low gas prices.