DETROIT -- A General Motors veteran who helped shape the company's vehicle safety operations following its ignition switch recall crisis has elected to retire after 43 years with the automaker.
GM said Friday that Jeffrey Boyer, an engineer who has served as global safety chief since March 2014, will retire as of Sept. 1. He will be replaced by Jeffrey Massimilla, who currently serves as GM's chief cybersecurity officer.
GM said Massimilla, 40, will continue overseeing cybersecurity in addition to safety efforts in an expanded role as vice president for global vehicle safety and cybersecurity -- underlining the growing importance of cybersecurity as vehicles become more connected.
"In today's connected world, combating cybersecurity threats have become an integral part of our continued company commitment to quickly identifying and resolving product safety issues of all kinds, so it's a natural extension for us to combine these two roles into one," GM CEO Mary Barra said in a statement.
Barra commended Boyer, 61, for his decades of service with the automaker, saying: "GM is proud to embrace a culture where safety and quality are a priority and for these last few years, Jeff Boyer has been proudly leading the charge for us."
In his expanded role, Massimilla will be responsible for the safety systems on GM's car and light-truck lineup, confirmation and validation of safety performance, as well as post-sale safety activities, including recalls.
Massimilla joined GM in 2001 as a design release engineer and has held multiple roles in both electrical and vehicle product program engineering.