Ford has successfully recruited some top talent from other companies in recent months, including poaching Doug Field from Apple to be its new chief advanced technology and embedded systems officer, as well as hiring former Amazon senior corporate counsel Rebecca Pagani as its new chief privacy officer. Now, that trend continues, as Ford Europe has hired Martin Sander, a 25-year Volkswagen veteran, to take over its newly combined role of general manager, passenger vehicles, Ford of Europe, and chair of the management board of Ford-Werke GmbH (Ford Germany).
Sander will take over the roles left vacant by the recent retirements of Roelant de Waard and Gunnar Herrmann, and will report directly to Stuart Rowley, president, Ford of Europe. “Martin is a highly experienced leader with a wealth of global experience,” Rowley said. “His drive, leadership, and new thinking will speed the transformation of our passenger vehicle business in Europe to provide customers with new connected experiences.”
At VW, Martin Sander held various senior leadership positions in North America, the U.K., and Europe across his quarter-century at the German automaker, and most recently served as the company’s senior vice president of sales, Europe, at Audi AG. At Ford, Sander will be based out of Cologne, Germany – the home of Ford’s European passenger vehicle business and site of the new Cologne Electrification Center, which will begin producing all-electric vehicles starting next year.
Sander – a native of Hildesheim, Germany – will be tasked with accelerating Ford’s EV transition, connected vehicle services, and providing a superior digital experience for customers.