Ford loses chief technology officer to Amazon in industry battle over talent

Ford CTO Ken Washington (still left) is leaving the automaker for Amazon in July.


DETROIT – Ford Motor is losing its main technological know-how officer to Amazon, marking an ongoing talent struggle in between the automotive and engineering industries.

Ford confirmed Thursday that CTO Ken Washington, who joined Ford from Lockheed Martin in 2014, will be leaving the Detroit automaker successful July 16. He will be part of Amazon as vice president of software package engineering in Sunnyvale, California, in accordance to an inside worker memo offered by Ford.

Washington’s departure is a big blow for the automaker, which is accelerating billions of pounds in new investments for linked, electrical and autonomous vehicles less than a new turnaround approach by CEO Jim Farley.

Jim Buczkowski, who has been liable for investigate and design and style of electrical and electronic devices, will be having on interim responsibility for Ford’s research and superior engineering team although a everlasting successor for Washington is determined, in accordance to the automaker.

Amazon did not right away answer for remark on the seek the services of, which was initial noted by the Detroit Totally free Press.

The automotive and technological know-how industries are ever more battling for expertise with the emergence of linked vehicles and corporations from each sides studying and creating autonomous autos. Automotive start out-up providers this kind of as Lucid and Rivian also are vying for top expertise from each sectors.

Tech businesses have been successful in recent decades. Ford shed two advertising and marketing executives to Google and Facebook in 2020. Basic Motors past calendar year also dropped CFO Dhivya Suryadevara, electronic payments firm Stripe, and, in advance of that, Alicia Boler Davis, who led GM’s international manufacturing, to Amazon.