DETROIT: General Motors has named Darryll Harrison as director of global product development for electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles. He will lead strategic communications for the company’s global product group, including electric vehicle and autonomous vehicle technology, vehicle engineering, design, research and development and vehicle safety.
In the newly created role, Harrison will report to Joe Jacuzzi, executive director of vehicle brand and global product development communications. The global product development, EV and AV team will report to Harrison.
Harrison worked for more than four years at ChargePoint, a network of EV-charging stations in North America and Europe, most recently as senior director of global communications and social media.
At Volkswagen of America, Harrison served as spokesperson for lifestyle, regional and innovation communications and brand public relations for more than five years. He also has experience in automobile, alt-fuel and technology communications at Zeno Group, working with Kia Motors America, EV startup Coda Automotive and Nissan.
At Nissan, Harrison was introduced to electric mobility. In 2008, he worked on communications involving the Leaf before the car went on sale. At ChargePoint, he was a part of the industry’s larger shift to electric-powered vehicles.
“Joining GM at the core of its transformation with the transition I have intimately embraced professionally for so long seemed like the right step to make,” Harrison told PRWeek.
Harrison will continue to be based in Los Angeles, which aligns with GM’s policies on flexibility and desire to be a workplace of choice.
“I’ve always been mission-driven,” said Harrison. “GM’s commitment where mobility produces zero emissions, zero congestion and zero crashes are all things that line up very well with my personal commitments.”
He stated the auto manufacturer appealed to him not only because they are transforming their vehicles but also their practices, which will result in greater global, environmental impacts.
“Reducing emissions at their factories, transforming the way they manufacture vehicles, making changes beyond what you see in showrooms are some of the reasons why I’m happy to join the team,” he said.
GM hired Facebook’s Daniel Roberts in March for a new role spearheading innovation and growth communications, specifically its Global Connected Customer, Innovation, Brightdrop and office data and analytics verticals.
The automaker is set to report its Q1 earnings on May 5. Its Q4 2020 performance beat analysts’ expectations with revenue of $27.5 billion and net income of $2.9 billion, according to CNBC. However, it warned that the global semiconductor chip shortage could cost it as much as $2 billion this year.