Designed to compete like a startup company, Ford Smart Mobility builds its mobility “solutions” primarily through its Greenfield Labs team.

Ford taps Rao as mobility CEO

Sept. 30, 2016
OEM foresees “significant growth opportunity” in providing a range of “mobility services” around the world.

Rajendra “Raj” Rao is the new CEO of Ford Smart Mobility LLC, a new Ford Motor Co. subsidiary focused on “designing, building, and growing” what the OEM believes is an expanding global market for “mobility services.”

Rao will report to Jim Hackett, Ford Smart Mobility’s chairman, and be will based in Palo Alto, CA.

“Ford Smart Mobility is a significant growth opportunity for Ford,” noted Hackett in a statement. “Raj has deep experience in digital transformation, new business model cultivation and start-up partnerships. He is the right leader to bring to life our vision to change the way the world moves.”

Ford Mobility's Rajendra “Raj” Rao.

As CEO, Hackett said Rao is tasked with growing various “mobility” enterprises, including Ford’s new City Solutions business, its Chariot shuttle business and Greenfield Labs.

Designed to compete like a startup company, Ford Smart Mobility builds its mobility “solutions” through its Greenfield Labs team. It also is collaborating with start-ups and tech companies, such as recently acquired Chariot, an app-based, crowd-sourced shuttle company, and its collaboration with Motivate to launch Ford GoBike in San Francisco.

Previously, Rao worked with iGATE Capital, Brunswick Corporation and as vice president of digital business model innovation at 3M, managing its Silicon Valley digital hub and Internet-of-Things (IoT) projects.

“I am energized by the opportunity to develop and grow Ford’s new mobility businesses, leveraging the company’s inherent strengths,” Rao noted in a statement.

“I have spent the better part of my career unleashing the power that exists globally with ecommerce, connected devices and digitization,” he said. “The opportunity now to apply that experience and passion for innovation to helping Ford change the way the world moves is the perfect culmination.”

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