5698 Aptiv hires Microsoft exec Sophia Velastegui as chief product officer

Aptiv hires Microsoft exec Sophia Velastegui as chief product officer

Automotive technology supplier Aptiv on Tuesday named former Microsoft executive Sophia Velastegui as its new chief product officer.

Velastegui will start on Feb. 1 and report directly to CEO Kevin Clark, said Aptiv spokeswoman Sarah McKinney.

The announcement comes shortly after the company agreed to pay $4.3 billion for software firm Wind River, strengthening its grip on software integration in automobiles.

Velastegui will be based out of the Boston office and will work closely with the Wind River team in order to “strengthen Aptiv’s full-stack offerings with unique cloud-native products and services,” McKinney said in a statement to Automotive News.

“With her expertise and the talented team of engineers she leads, Aptiv will continue to accelerate the industry and society’s transition to a software-defined future,” Clark said in a statement.

Fox Advisors CEO Steven Fox said: “They are making a major commitment to being a leader in terms of software integration at the tier one level for OEMs. This just adds to their opportunities in software, and so bringing in someone with this type of background makes a lot of sense to me.”

Before working at Microsoft, Velastegui headed Nest’s Silicon and Architecture Roadmap team, staying with the group after it was acquired by Google to help scale up the organization. She has also worked for Apple, leading a team that leveraged artificial intelligence and machine learning across all of Apple’s advanced technology platforms.

“The next wave of growth for automotive will come from the software-defined vehicle,” Velastegui said in Aptiv’s statement. “I am excited to join Aptiv at this pivotal moment.”

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