Ride-hailing company Lyft Inc. has hired its first chief information security officer this week, Mike Johnson, as it also took a step into expanding its business into self-driving cars.
Last month Lyft announced its autonomous-car development division, which will be staffed by hundreds of engineers and technicians at new offices in Silicon Valley. The move marks a shift for Lyft, which had favored partnerships with self-driving vehicle developers.
Johnson hails from Salesforce.com Inc., where he held information security roles since 2008. His appointment comes as technology firms, traditional automakers and others work to claim their piece of the fast-evolving automotive industry. As the technology has advanced, it has raised questions about the safety of internet-connected vehicles and how companies will fend off cyber threats.
Just this week, General Motors Co., which invested $500 million in Lyft last year, hired two cybersecurity experts — known for remotely hacking into a Jeep — to work at GM’s self-driving-vehicle subsidiary. Both bring experience at major ride-hailing startups, including Lyft rival Uber Technologies Inc. and China’s Didi Chuxing.