GM appoints Kent Helfrich as VP global R&D

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General Motors has appointed Kent Helfrich as vice president, Global Research and Development, chief technology officer and president, GM Ventures.

Helfrich (above), currently executive director, Advanced Technology and Partnerships, replaces Matt Tsien (below), who has elected to retire after 45 years with the company.

“As we pursue our vision for a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion, R&D and investments in new technologies that support that vision are more important than ever,” said GM president Mark Reuss. “With Kent’s background and experience, he is uniquely positioned to help bring innovation and technology solutions into our vehicles, manufacturing facilities and operations.”

Prior to his current position, Helfrich led the GM team responsible for global electrification and battery systems. Throughout his career at GM and elsewhere, Helfrich has held a variety of leadership roles in electrical engineering.

Tsien, who will retire from the company in November, has held a variety of positions throughout his GM career, most recently serving as executive vice president, chief technology officer and president, GM Ventures. Prior to his current position, he led GM China from 2014 to 2020.

“I’d like to thank Matt for his many years of dedicated service to GM and his outstanding contributions to the company,” said GM chair and CEO Mary Barra. “Matt has helped position the company for growth and long-term success. I appreciate his friendship and I wish him all the best in retirement.”

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he oversees Automotive Powertrain Technology International and Professional Motorsport World magazines as editor.

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