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Ford’s Chief Brand Officer, Poached From Apple Last Year, Is Leaving

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Ford Motor Company today announced that Vice President and Chief Brand Officer Musa Tariq has elected to leave the company, after having only served in that position since January, 2017. Tariq, 35, served as Director of Global Marketing and Communication for Retail at Apple Inc. before joining Ford last year, and has held various marketing/communications at Burberry and Nike.

“Musa is a proven leader of brand transformation, having led similar work at some of the world’s most admired brands before coming to Ford,” said Ford President and CEO Jim Hackett of the departing Chief Brand Officer. “He is a leader known for creativity and social media expertise. Over the last year, he has been helping to drive the same transformation at Ford. We are grateful for his service and will carry on the work he has started.”

For the time being, the Ford brand will continue under the direction of Ford’s Chief Marketing Officer, Joy Falotico, the company says.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Musa Tariq is one of two executives Ford poached from Silicon Valley that have elected to leave the company. The other is the CEO of Ford Smart Mobility LLC, Raj Rao, whose appointment to that role was announced in September, 2016. His departure will take effect May 1st.

Ford and other global automakers appear to be somewhat infatuated with Silicon Valley of late, as they attempt to generate the same sort of stock market frenzy that west coast tech companies have enjoyed for some time. Ford has gone so far as to open up a Research and Innovation Center in Palo Alto, California – hometown of electric automaker Tesla Motors – and it could be said that the automaker’s focus on mobility in “The City of Tomorrow” and its regular appearances at the Consumer Electronics Show are inspired in part by the desire to be seen as something of a tech company.

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Written by Aaron Brzozowski

Aaron Brzozowski is a writer and motoring enthusiast from Detroit with an affinity for '80s German steel. He is not active on the Twitter these days, but you may send him a courier pigeon.

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  1. I can’t help but wonder if the turmoil in the CMO position, coupled with the fact that Ford continues to decide on CMOs through the traditional corporate leadership shuffle (moving people from engineering, to finance, to marketing, etc.) led to this departure. Tariq came from Apple and Burberry, two iconic brands that are fantastic marketers too, and places where an engineer would never be put in charge of marketing. I just don’t get automotive companies still using that old model in 2018 but, then again, GM hasn’t had a CMO in something like 5 years which is also inexplicable.

  2. What is wrong with Ford. Can’t they find an American to head an American company? Our country has so much talent and they pick these people for diversity sake?

    • Yeah, you’re a bit of a xenophobe. Also, Paul Hackett is very much American, as were Mark Fields, Alan Mulally and Bill Ford.

    • Well, when you post that you think they need to hire an American for a job and not the most qualified person, xenophobe seems appropriate. Sorry. As for this position, they’d never had a Chief Brand Officer before Tariq; I’ll be surprised if they replace it and don’t just keep those duties under the CMO.

      • Maybe an American Chief Brand Officer would not have been out in a year, just saying. Xenophobe is a fear of foreigners, I just prefer Americans for American corporations. Those that name call have no argument. Again, just saying.

        • He’s from London and worked for Burberry, Nike and Apple before Ford; I doubt where he was born had a thing to do with his departure. My bet would be he was exasperated by the turmoil around him and found he couldn’t have nearly the impact/influence that he wanted because of the conservative nature of automotive marketing.

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