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Raj Rao's mobility division plays a key role in Ford's plans to expand its business areas (Photo: Ford Motor)

Ford Motor has appointed Raj Rao to head its global new mobility initiatives.

The US automaker's new division, which is called Ford Smart Mobility LLC, designs, builds, grows, and invests in new mobility services. It is a key part of Ford's plans to broaden its operations to include software and new mobility offerings.

Rao is tasked with growing Ford's various new business areas, which include a recently announced City Solutions business, a new lab and an incubator unit.

Rao most recently served as vice president of digital business model innovation at 3M. He led the diversified technology group's Silicon Valley digital hub and Internet-of-Things projects.

A native of Bangalore, India, Rao began his career as a financial analyst at Procter & Gamble. He subsequently worked in and led business operations in Asia, Europe, Middle East and North America.

Rao has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Shri Ram College of Commerce at Delhi University and a master’s degree in management from Boston University.