Rivian has hired Diane Lye as its first chief information officer, a position that the EV maker says is necessary to expand globally.
Lye’s hiring comes as Rivian consolidates its internal and external technology teams across its numerous departments, including manufacturing IT and customer-facing digital products. It is also ahead of Rivian’s planned expansion into Georgia, where it is building another factory, and overseas through a partnership with Mercedes-Benz. Rivian said IT and cybersecurity will need to become more sophisticated as it scales globally.
The appointment also comes amid a restructuring that resulted in layoffs of about 6% of its workforce and executive changes, including the appointment of Frank Klein as its new chief operating officer.
IT and cybersecurity infrastructure are critical components — some argue the foundation — for any company, regardless of size. In Rivian’s case, the company isn’t just large (about 14,000 people work there), it has a widening network of offices, factories and other facilities spread throughout the U.S., Canada and the UK. And while PricewaterhouseCoopers executive Christopher Perrigo was interim CIO since January, prior to that the position didn’t exist.
Rivian’s headquarters are in Irvine, California and its only factory (for now) is in Normal, Illinois, where the R1T pickup truck, R1S SUV and commercial electric van are produced. Its software stack and vehicle electronics department is based out of Palo Alto, California; vehicle engineering, prototyping, supply chain and accounting are in Plymouth, Michigan and its vehicle management software teams are at an office in Vancouver, British Colombia. Rivian also has an office in Carson, California focused on electric power conversion, a test facility in Arizona and an advanced concepts engineering team in the U.K. Its European commercial center is in Amsterdam.
“With Diane’s experience scaling global technology teams across multiple industries, including retail, technology and finance, we are extremely excited that she is joining Rivian at such a critical time in our growth,” Rivian founder and CEO RJ Scaringe said in a statement.
Lye has held numerous tech-centric leadership roles over the past three decades, including a nine-year stint at Amazon on the retail business side and at Amazon Web Services. She went on to the capital markets division at Citi and consumer banking and capital markets at Bank of America.
More recently, Lye was executive vice president and credit card divisional CIO at Capital One, where she led a 4,500-person organization responsible for all the technology required to run the company’s credit card businesses. During her six-year tenure, Lye led a program to migrate all data, analytics technology, risk technology and financial systems to the AWS cloud.