Ford Motor Company today announced some sweeping changes to its global leadership team as it chases operational fitness in the long-term. The announcement incorporates eight major changes in all, with certain executives changing positions, adding responsibilities, or moving into newly-created roles at the global automaker.
“As we develop our strategy to become the most trusted mobility company, designing smart vehicles for a smart world, we will continue to reshape the organization to deliver the most value for our customers and all of our stakeholders,” says Ford President and CEO Jim Hackett. “The changes we are announcing today will further align resources and improve efficiencies throughout our global markets and operations. At the same time, I want to recognize the truly significant contributions of the senior leaders departing from Ford and thank them for their many years of service.”
Kumar Galhotra, President of The Lincoln Motor Company, will add the role of Ford Chief Marketing Officer for Global Markets, effective November 1st. In his newly-expanded role, he will continue to lead Ford’s luxury brand, while inheriting global marketing responsibilities from Executive VP of Global Marketing, Sales and Service Stephen Odell, who’s decided to retire at 62. Galhotra will report directly to Ford President of Global Markets Jim Farley.
“Stephen [Odell] has made significant contributions to Ford, including laying the groundwork for our turnaround in Europe and positioning us for success as we continue to create a world-class global marketing and sales organization,” says Jim Hackett. “In addition, he has mentored and helped develop many of our next generation of leaders. We appreciate his many years of service and wish him well in the future.”
Linda Cash, Ford Europe’s Vice President of Manufacturing, has been named VP of Quality and New Model Launch, effective January 1st. She will report to Ford President of Global Operations Joe Hinrichs. She succeeds Bennie Fowler, Group VP of Quality and New Model Launch, who is retiring at 61.
“Ford has made significant strides in improving vehicle quality globally under Bennie’s leadership,” says Jim Hackett. “He has an absolute unwavering commitment to continuous improvement and we are grateful for his contributions to our success. We wish him all the best.”
Dale Wishnousky, Director of Ford’s Global Manufacturing Business Office, will assume Ms. Cash’s former role as Ford Europe VP of Manufacturing, effective January 1st.
Birgit Behrendt, Vice President of Global Powertrain Purchasing and Global Purchasing Operations, has been tapped for a newly-created position leading Joint Ventures, Alliances and Commercial Affairs for Ford Europe, effective January 1st.
Lisa Drake, currently Ford Global Purchasing Director, will take over Ms. Behrendt’s former role.
Felicia Fields, Ford’s Group Vice President of Human Resources, is retiring at 52, effective November 1st. Fields has spent 31 years with Ford Motor Company, and is a proud third-generation employee.
“Felicia has been an outstanding leader and we thank her for the tremendous contributions she has made to Ford throughout her career,” says Hackett. “She has long been a trusted source of guidance and leadership, always putting our employees first, and working to make Ford a great place to work.”
Kiersten Robinson, Executive Director of Human Resources for Global Markets, will serve as Ford’s interim leader of Human Resources, effective November 1st.
John Casesa, Ford Group VP of Global Strategy, has elected to retire at 55, effective November 1st. Ford is realigning its Global Strategy function, and the company says that going forward, leaders in that function will report directly to Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks.