Dearborn’s Ford Motor Co. has hired Suzy Deering as global chief marketing officer. She will begin her position on Jan. 4 and will succeed Joy Falotico, who served in the position but will now focus solely on her role as president of Lincoln Motor Co. after leading both the brand and marketing for three years.
Deering most recently served as North America chief marketing officer at eBay.
Separately, Linda Cash will retire from Ford effective Jan. 1. She was with the company for 36 years and served as vice president of quality and new model launch program for the past three years.
Deering will be responsible for modernizing marketing, driving brand strategy and best practices, and developing marketing talent. She also will run all marketing operations in North America, which accounts for more than 70 percent of Ford’s automotive revenue, including customer intelligence and product and consumer marketing.
“We’re putting more decision-making in the hands of our people who are closest to customers,” says Kumar Galhotra, president, Ford Americas and international markets group, to whom Deering will report. “That makes marketing more important than ever, and Suzy’s world-class background will be vital to modernizing our approach, dialing-up our understanding of customer ambitions, and redefining our brands to help us grow.”
During Deering’s tenure at eBay, the company saw an increase in revenue over the past two years. Deering also was previously CEO of Moxie, a technology-led marketing agency, and spent 13 years at Verizon Wireless, the last two as executive director of media, engagements, and integrations. She has a bachelor’s degree in advertising from the University of Georgia.
“Technology will be a powerful part of Ford’s transformation and how we enhance and release the huge value of our iconic brands,” Deering says. “My team will be involved from end-to-end on behalf of customers — better connecting with them, using data to foresee and deliver what they need, and earning and keeping their trust.”
Cash has been a company officer since 2016 and responsible for driving worldwide vehicle quality processes from design through production, including for new model launches.
She was previously vice president of manufacturing and director of vehicle operations for Ford of Europe. She has also been an adviser and mentor to colleagues and a champion for diversity across the company, including through Women in Manufacturing and the Ford-Employees African-Ancestry Network, which was started in 1994 as the first of the company’s multicultural employee resource groups.
“Linda has always been an innovator,” says Galhotra. “She’s a remarkable leader and change agent, someone who can pivot quickly and effectively as circumstances evolve, and her contributions to Ford have been invaluable.”
An expert in lean manufacturing, other previous roles Cash has held include executive director of global vehicle operations and chief engineer for final assembly, both in manufacturing engineering; executive director of the global manufacturing business office; plant manager of the Michigan Truck assembly facility; and director of North America Manufacturing Engineering.
Chris Brewer will assume Cash’s responsibilities for quality as executive director of quality. The company earlier announced that Ron Johnson will take on product launch responsibilities. Both will report to Lisa Drake, COO for North America.
Brewer has been with Ford since 1986 and was most recently director of vehicle programs for trucks and SUVs. He has experience leading product development programs, including for an all-new Transit commercial van for North America and Europe while based in the U.K. Brewer holds degrees in engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and business from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.