Amazon has hired General Motors‘ (GMs’) executive vice president of global manufacturing. Citing sources familiar with the matter, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that Alicia Boler Davis has joined the eCommerce giant. Amazon declined to comment.
GM announced on Thursday (Feb. 28) the upcoming departures of two executives, who report directly to CEO Mary Barra. Boler Davis led manufacturing for nearly three years and, before that, ran the company’s connected-car and quality divisions.
Amazon has shown growing interest in the automotive market, and recently invested in two automotive tech firms. Last month, it led a $700 million equity investment in electric automaker Rivian. Ironically, Rivian is also reportedly in discussions with GM about potential funding. Its R1S sport utility vehicle and R1T pickup enjoyed outstanding reviews at November’s Los Angeles Auto Show, and it is said that the cars could have a driving range as high as 400 miles.
Also last month, Amazon participated in a $530 million Series B funding round in Aurora, a self-driving car technology company with offices in Palo Alto, San Francisco and Pittsburgh. The company has grown quickly since it launched in 2017, hiring SpaceX’s former VP of Software Engineering Jinnah Hosein to head up its software engineering team. It also reportedly has partnerships with Hyundai, Volkswagen and Chinese electric vehicle startup BYTON.
“We are always looking to invest in innovative, customer-obsessed companies, and Aurora is just that,” Amazon said at the time. “Autonomous technology has the potential to help make the jobs of our employees and partners safer and more productive, whether it’s in a fulfillment center or on the road, and we’re excited about the possibilities.”
While it’s unknown whether Amazon has any interest in manufacturing its own line of driverless cars, Boler Davis can use her experience to help the company automate its warehouses and other facilities.