Indian American Padmasree Warrior, one of Silicon Valley’s high-profile women executives, has been appointed as the U.S. based chief executive officer of a Chinese firm ‘NextEV’ which is building an electric car to compete with American electric car manufacturer Tesla.
Cisco’s former chief strategy officer Padmasree, will also hold the role of Chief Development Officer.
Warrior was one of former Cisco CEO John Chambers’ top lieutenants, but she left the company when Chuck Robbins took over as CEO earlier this year.
Since leaving Cisco, the rumor was she was on the hunt for a CEO position of her own, the first of her career. At one point, her name was suggested to run Twitter.
NextEV is working on smart, high-performance electric vehicles and is considered to be one of the top contenders to muscle into the territory of high-end EVs currently dominated by Tesla.
Warrior’s track record as a technology visionary is “undisputed,” and her knowledge of the global markets and business acumen are “surpassed only by her ability to lead distributed teams of engineers and developers toward a common goal,” NextEV’s founder and chairman William Li said in a statement.
“Her passion for technology and the positive impact it can have on humanity aligns well with the core values of NextEV as we build the first user-enterprise. NextEV’s global team is comprised of the best minds from the automotive, software and user experience domains,” Li said.
“We will leverage leading edge technologies to deliver world-class products to global consumers,” he added.
Warrior said she is excited to join NextEV and has always looked for opportunities to leverage technology to tackle big problems.
“Climate change and air quality are two of the most significant global challenges today. I believe that electric vehicles will play a major role in the overall solution. As the electric vehicle industry emerges, there is a tremendous opportunity to provide a user-centric transportation experience,” she said.
“By integrating advanced technologies in the mobile internet era,” she added, “NextEV will make electric vehicles an enjoyable experience in people’s daily lives. I am proud to be a part of this journey.”
Warrior has previously been named by Forbes among the world’s 100 most powerful women. She is an alumnus of the IIT Delhi and Cornell University, and has regularly received various leadership awards.
NextEV president Martin Leach said with the car industry going through its most fundamental change, electric vehicles with smart technology and connectivity are the future.
He added that Warrior’s vision and experience will help the company deliver the next generation product and user experiences in the mobile Internet era.
In addition to her appointment to the NextEV board, Warrior currently serves on the boards of American clothing giant Gap and Microsoft.