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GM to open third U.S. tech center, hire 1,000 people

DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Co will open a third U.S. information technology center as part of its plan to bring that work in-house and improve the automaker's efficiency and productivity.

GM said on Thursday it will hire about 1,000 people, including software developers, database experts and business analysts, to staff the center near Atlanta. It will be the third of four centers in the United States GM previously said it would open.

Last summer, GM, a pioneer in outsourcing information technology, said it would reverse that trend with plans to vastly expand the number of in-house IT experts over three years.

At the time of the announcement, GM outsourced some 90 percent of its IT services and provided 10 percent of that work in-house, an approach that had been the model at the Detroit company for most of the last three decades. The U.S. automaker said it planned to flip those percentages.

GM Chief Information Officer Randy Mott, a former Hewlett-Packard Co executive, outlined his plans last June to GM's IT employees, which then numbered about 1,500. GM currently employs about 2,200 IT staff and that number will rise to about 9,000 when the transition is completed, Mott said on Thursday.

"We've been on a journey for the past few months to transform GM IT," Mott told reporters on a conference call. "One of the key strategies in this turnaround is the opening of (information technology) innovation centers in key U.S. markets and bringing the work back in-house to GM."

Last October, GM said it would shift 3,000 people over six months to its payroll from HP, which has long handled IT work for the automaker.

In the two months prior to that, GM had announced plans to hire 2,000 workers to staff new IT centers in Texas and Michigan. The location of the fourth IT center will be announced later but employment will be on the same scale, Mott said.

GM said it has hired more than 700 IT specialists to work at the centers in Austin, Texas, and Warren, Michigan. The Georgia center will be located in Roswell, a northern suburb of Atlanta, and Mott said interviews for the location will begin next week with hiring to occur as soon as possible.

(Reporting by Ben Klayman; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)

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