New Magna group to focus on emerging technologies

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Magna International wants to make sure it’s on the leading edge of technolgoies for the automotive industry and it’s setting up a “technology advisory council” to provide direction to the company and help to identify business opportuniities.

The advisory council is led by Swamy Kotagiri, Magna chief technology officer (CTO), and consists of some of the most recognized and respected experts in the global automotive and tech industries. The council brings a wider circle of insight, knowledge and experience from various industries that ultimately helps accelerate the execution of Magna’s technology and business objectivesa

“The pace of innovation in the automotive industry is like nothing we have ever seen before, creating even more challenges and opportunities,” says Kotagiri.  “At Magna, we welcome the challenge and aim to seize the opportunities by continuing to leverage our culture of innovation, while embracing a new level of innovation outreach.  We are excited to have such a distinguished group of individuals bringing their vision and insights to our company.”

Advisory Council members will provide high-level strategic planning insights and experience in the areas of advanced driver assistance systems, environmental and automotive safety, overall industry trends, and next-generation technologies.

Chaired by Kotagiri, the Advisory Council is comprised of six members who are recognized leaders in their respective fields, several of whom have significant experience in product innovation and the implementation of new technologies.

“Magna’s deep vehicle systems knowledge and electronics capabilities, combined with its global engineering and manufacturing expertise, are remarkable,” says council member Tony Fadell, the inventor of the iPod, an inventor of the iPhone, and founder of Nest, the company that pioneered the Internet of things. “They are in a great position to help drive change in the auto industry and I am excited to be working with such an innovative company.”

“Magna is a company committed to helping define the future of mobility and I am delighted to be a part of such a distinguished group of individuals who collectively can bring new opportunities to Magna and the industry,” said Dr. Ian Hunter.

Technology Advisory Council Profiles:

Swamy Kotagiri is globally responsible for managing Magna’s innovation and new product strategy and development.  As CTO, Kotagiri helps Magna’s product groups bring innovative ideas to the market, which allows the company to move the automotive industry forward.

Mei-Wei Cheng is a member of the Board of Directors of Seagate Technology PLC and recently served as non-executive Chairman of Pactera.  He was the former CEO and President for the Chinese subsidiaries of AT&T, Siemens Ford Motor Company and General Electric. He holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering/operations research from Cornell University and an MBA from Rutgers University.

Tony Fadell is the inventor of the iPod, an inventor of the iPhone, and founder of Nest, the company that pioneered the “Internet of things”.  He is an active investor and entrepreneur with a 25-year history of founding companies and designing products that improve people’s lives. Fadell has authored more than 300 patents.  In May 2016, TIME named Nest Thermostat, the iPod and iPhone as three of the “50 Most Influential Gadgets of All Time.”

Dr. Ian Hunter is a professor of Mechanical Engineering and runs the BioInstrumentation Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Hunter has filed over 150 patents, produced more than 500 scientific and engineering publications, and has founded and/or co-founded 25 companies. He received his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Auckland and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the department of Biomedical Engineering at McGill University in Canada.

John Maddox is the CEO of the American Center for Mobility. He began his career as a Research Engineer at Ford Motor Company and has held positions such as Associate Administrator at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Compliance Officer at Volkswagen North America. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in engineering management from the University of Detroit Mercy.

Paul Mascarenas is a member of the Board of Directors at ON Semiconductor and the United States Steel Corp. He previously held a number of senior leadership positions at Ford Motor Company, most recently serving as Chief Technical Officer.  Paul holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of London, King’s College in England and holds an honorary doctorate degree from Chongqing University in China.

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