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January 18, 2022

Aptiv recruits AI expert as chief product officer

"The next wave of growth for automotive will come from the software defined vehicle," the new recruit said.

By Graeme Roberts

Aptiv today announced Sophia Velastegui would be joining the supplier as its chief product officer.

Velastegui will use her expertise in artificial intelligence (AI), software architecture, and product development at Microsoft, Google, and Apple to expand and commercialise Aptiv’s claimed unique brain and nervous systems range, accelerating growth opportunities with a claimed industry first, complex automotive software system that minimises cost and maximises flexibility.

Kevin Clark, president and chief executive officer, said: “Aptiv will continue to drive industry trends, and solve our customers’ toughest challenges, with innovation led by trailblazers such as Velastegui.”

Described by Aptiv as a “widely recognised technology industry leader and AI expert”, Velastegui has 20 years of experience at Microsoft, Google, Apple, and Applied Materials. She joins from Microsoft, where she was CTO of artificial intelligence and product head of power apps edge within their business application group and general manager, responsible for the development of the tech giant’s AI and search products.

“The next wave of growth for automotive will come from the software defined vehicle,” said Velastegui. I believe Aptiv is uniquely positioned to deliver the turnkey, trusted software platform and AI-driven products OEMs need to rapidly scale innovation and deliver the safe, reliable, and intelligently-connected user experience consumers want.”

Before joining Microsoft, Velastegui headed Google/Nest’s silicon and architecture roadmap team where she scaled the organisation from startup to growth business unit following the Google acquisition. She also led Apple’s platform architecture ‘think tank’ programme, leveraging AI and machine learning across all of the firm’s advanced technology platforms. She also held various technology and product development roles at Doppler Labs, ETM and Applied Materials.

Among other activities, she is co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council.

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