This website is best viewed in portrait mode.

Tim Bates


Executive Principal

Chief Technology Officer, Chief Innovation Officer, Chief Immersive Strategist, Chief Security Officer

Tim is a renowned cybersecurity expert and technology innovator with over 40 years of experience in the field. Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, his interest in computers and programming began at a young age. As a teen pioneer, he honed his skills as a white-hat hacker, working with the U.S. Marshals Marines to take down criminal organizations and prevent cyber attacks.

Tim was recruited by General Motors in 2003 after catching the attention of the company with his impressive hacking skills. A 2003 article titled “Who Wants to Hire a Hacker?” by Andrew Dietderich brought him to the attention of GM, and he was quickly hired to help improve improve the company’s cybersecurity.

As a cybersecurity expert, Tim took on the challenge of creating a comprehensive cybersecurity system for GM, which he called the “five layers of defense.” This system included a combination of firewalls, intrusion detection systems, vulnerability assessments, and more, all working together to provide robust protection against cyber attacks.

He also established a team of experts to deploy and maintain these cybersecurity solutions, constantly working on improvements and updates to stay ahead of the ever-evolving cyber threat landscape. His efforts have kept GM’s systems safe and secure for over 16 years, with the company staying out of the news for any major cybersecurity breaches.

In recent years, Tim shifted his focus towards emerging technologies such as immersive experiences, digital twins, and the metaverse. His work on immersive technologies, digital twins, and the metaverse at General Motors was groundbreaking. As a Technology Fellow, he led a team of engineers and developers to explore how these technologies could transform the automotive industry.

One of his key achievements was the development of a digital twin platform for GM’s manufacturing operations. This platform allowed engineers and technicians to simulate the entire manufacturing process, from design to production, in a virtual environment. By doing so, they could identify potential issues and inefficiencies before they occurred in the real world, ultimately saving GM millions of dollars in production costs.


Tim also worked on incorporating immersive technologies, such as virtual and augmented reality, into GM’s product design and development processes. By creating virtual prototypes of new vehicles, designers and engineers could more easily collaborate and make changes in real-time, ultimately speeding up the design process and improving the quality of GM’s vehicles.

He was an advocate for exploring the potential of the metaverse for the automotive industry, envisioning a future where customers could interact with and customize their vehicles in virtual environments, ultimately leading to more personalized and engaging experiences.

Tim’s work at GM demonstrated his passion for pushing the boundaries of technology and his ability to lead innovative teams to develop cutting-edge solutions.

Before joining GM, Tim began his career in cybersecurity, working with several leading tech companies and government agencies. He quickly gained a reputation as a top-tier encryption and communications and pen-testing specialist, earning the nickname “Cipher.”

Throughout his career, Tim has been at the forefront of emerging technologies, pioneering new approaches to cybersecurity and data protection. He has been recognized with numerous awards for his contributions to the field, including being named a Future Technology Leader by the Black Engineers Association (BEYA) and a Technology Fellow by General Motors.

In his current role as Global Technology CTO at Lenovo, Tim serves as a trusted advisor and strategic consultant, helping the company navigate the complex landscape of emerging technologies and cybersecurity threats. He continues to explore new frontiers in technology, with a particular focus on immersive and metaverse technologies, AI, Blockchain, and Cyber quantum computing architecture and risk across each area.

In addition to his professional work, Tim is also a passionate advocate for cybersecurity
education and awareness. He has served as a mentor to countless young people interested in
pursuing careers in technology and frequently speaks at conferences and events around the world on the importance of cybersecurity and data protection.