DETROIT -- General Motors appointed a Dell Inc. executive to a newly created post to oversee its OnStar and infotainment divisions.
Mary Chan has been named vice president in charge of global connected consumers, GM said today. Since 2009, Chan has been senior vice president and general manager of enterprise mobility solutions and services at Dell.
The move is an effort to integrate GM’s OnStar telematics unit with its expanding infotainment offerings, GM spokesman Vijay Iyer said. While those two operations shared some engineering resources, they have been managed separately under different executives.. “It’s about creating throughout the organization a more coherent approach to what we’re offering for the connected customer,” Iyer said.
Chan will report to GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky, who has oversight of OnStar.
Over the past year, GM has rolled out new infotainment systems across its brands, including MyLink for Chevrolet and IntelliLink for Buick and GMC. By June, Cadillac will launch its new infotainment system, Cadillac User experience, or CUE, when the new XTS sedan hits showrooms.
Those systems give users touchscreen access to content on their smartphones, such as streaming music or videos, via a Bluetooth or USB connection.
Meanwhile, OnStar, launched in 1996, is an embedded system on all GM vehicles that provides turn-by-turn navigation and safety and security features, such as the ability to track stolen vehicles or instantly notify authorities after a crash.
As infotainment systems have evolved into the main platform for drivers to access and use technology while behind the wheel, GM is trying to meld the two technologies to provide one interface to the user, Iyer said.
At the same time, OnStar continues to roll out new services that build on its safety and security niche. Last month, for example, OnStar launched Family Link, which allows parents to track their kids’ whereabouts when they’re driving an OnStar-equipped vehicle.
Chan’s appointment follows the February departure of former OnStar President Linda Marshall , who left a year after being tapped to lead the division in what was GM CEO Dan Akerson’s first major personnel move.
In January, GM created a global infotainment division to integrate products across GM’s four brands. The head of that unit, Phil Abram , GM’s chief infotainment officer, will report to Chan.
Terry Inch , director of sales, marketing and business planning for OnStar, has been serving as OnStar’s interim director since Marshall’s departure. He will lead OnStar and report to Chan, Iyer said.