John Ellis is a technology and futurist keynote speaker, author, software expert and the former Head of the Ford Developer Program with Ford Motor Company. As the Global Technologist and Head of the Ford Developer Program Ellis’s team delivered a number of automotive industry firsts including SmartDeviceLink, the open-source version of Ford’s award-winning AppLink technology.
His work in the field inspired the book The Zero Dollar Car: How the Revolution in Big Data will Change Your Life. For the past 19 years, he has been the managing director of the industry consultant firm Ellis & Associates.
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John was most recently Global Technologist and Head of the Ford Developer Program with Ford Motor Company. Under his leadership, John’s team delivered a number of automotive industry firsts including SmartDeviceLink, the open source version of Ford’s award-winning AppLink technology connecting brought-in devices to vehicles and the genesis of Google, Apple and MirrorLink technologies, developer.ford.com, Ford’s developer program with over 10,000 unique and global content providers all committed to developing for AppLink/SmartDeviceLink as well as a 2014 software developer conference attended by over 175 world-class developers from 15 countries. John’s team also delivered a ground-up design and development of a service delivery network that helped propel the MyFordMobile product to award-winning status.
During most of his career, John worked for Motorola where he held key leadership positions in engineering, product management, software & services, and marketing and strategy. While there, John participated in developing, marketing and selling Motorola’s mobile software and services, their software developer ecosystem (developer.motorola.com), and their industry-leading Open Source Software program (opensource.motorola.com).
For the past 19 years, John has been the managing director of Ellis & Associates, the management consulting firm he founded in 1997. Originally established as a boutique training firm focused on international business and culture, the firm now serves clients in the world where automotive, consumer, connectivity and software intersect.
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As a designer and lead instructor of the Connected Vehicle Professional certificate course for the Society of Automotive Engineers, John is frequently called upon as a software expert for interviews, keynotes and panels to discuss software security and the new business models traditional “ship and forget” companies like automotive companies need to adopt in order to be “ship and remember” companies and adequately address cybersecurity concerns and pending legislation.
John served as an adjunct professor at Notre Dame University teaching financial math to Executive MBA students from 2002-2010 as well as a translator in the 1992 Summer Olympics.