As Foxconn’s MIH EV Alliance grows stronger, not only are powerful partners joining the fray by the day, but the company is also injecting new blood into the executive team. Foxconn on January 14th announced that the MIH Alliance has brought on board Jack Cheng, whose resume consists of tenures for Ford, Fiat Chrysler, and NIO, to oversee the MIH’s hardware division and set platform specifications. On the other hand, Foxconn CTO William Wei will lead the development of MIH’s software platform. The two executives’ participation will bring a wealth of automotive and technological industry experience to the MIH Alliance, which Foxconn hopes will shape MIH’s culture, values, and competitiveness.
Jack Cheng has more than 40 years of experience in the automotive industry across both conventional fossil fuel vehicles and NEVs. His past roles include Chairman and CEO for Magneti Marelli AP, Chairman for Fiat China, and co-founder of NIO. While serving at Ford, Mr. Cheng successfully leveraged the partnership between Ford and Mazda and in turn ensured that the Taiwan-manufactured Tracer (based on the Mazda 3 chassis) was exported to Canada.
Mr. Cheng believes that that MIH’s top priority at the moment is to connect with various domestic markets via shared intellectual properties. In other words, under his guidance, the MIH platform will aim to create effective EV solutions by globally connecting local breakthroughs given the world’s vastly different cultures.
Mr. Cheng indicates that the MIH platform hopes to deliver an open and continuously self-evolving technological platform. He hopes to incubate new products and technologies through Foxtron’s platform innovation. As well, Mr. Cheng believes that the patents and services created by MIH can attract other industry elites to join the alliance. Such a concentration of technical and human resources will, he hopes, illuminate the future of automotive technology.
William Wei, on the other hand, was the sole Chinese member of the core software team at Steve Jobs-founded NeXT Computer. After Apple acquired NeXT, Wei joined Apple along with the rest of the Jobs-led team and subsequently developed iOS and Mac OS X.
Wei divulges his dream of escaping from traditional cognitive frameworks and looking at automotive design from a user-centric perspective. Those even tangentially familiar with electrical engineering know that software developers must understand hardware, and vice versa. Therefore, abandoning traditional cognitive frameworks in favor of a user-centric perspective is not so much a cultural difference, but rather a cultural impact, which is a good thing, since impact brings change, and change brings innovation. MIH’s current priority is to help establish a platform and connect various partners, thereby awakening more industry partners to participate in the Alliance through MIH’s actions.