Ford Announces Leadership, Organizational Changes to Automotive Operations

Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn today announced both leadership and organizational changes to its global automotive operations to accelerate its Creating Tomorrow Together transformation plan.
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Ford
Ford is making leadership and organizational changes to accelerate its Creating Tomorrow Together plan. // File photo

Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn today announced both leadership and organizational changes to its global automotive operations to accelerate its Creating Tomorrow Together transformation plan.

The reorganization, the result of a 10-week initiative led by Ford COO Jim Farley, is aimed at improving the automaker’s focus on product and launch execution; fully leveraging smart, connected vehicles and big data to better serve customers; boosting quality and lowering costs; and creating a dedicated commercial vehicle business in the U.S. and Canada.

“We are moving with a renewed sense of urgency to improve the fitness of the business and improve our launches, while at the same time modernizing Ford in a way that plays to our strengths,” says Farley. “That means putting the right team of global leaders in place, streamlining the way we work, embracing the power of connectivity, data and AI, and turning our leadership in commercial vehicles into a dedicated growth business.”

The following personnel moves go into effect May 1.

Kumar Galhotra takes on an expanded role as president, Americas and International Markets Group, and continues to report to Farley. The North America, South America, and International Markets Group business units will report to Galhotra. In this new role, Galhotra is responsible for the P&L of the business units including a newly established commercial vehicle business for the U.S. and Canada. Galhotra’s new organization will drive faster enterprise-wide decision-making and further efficiencies to better serve customers and adapt to changing market conditions.

Lyle Watters takes on an expanded role as president, South America and International Markets Group, reporting to Galhotra.

Mark Ovenden continues in his current role as president, International Markets Group. He will report to Watters.

Lisa Drake is named COO, North America, reporting to Galhotra. In this newly created role, Drake will bring enhanced focus to product launches, warranty cost reduction, and material cost improvements. Drake will help lead the push to return the North American business back to a 10 percent EBIT margin. With Drake’s deep operational knowledge, she will further accelerate the transformation of the North American business through cash conservation and profit actions. Drake continues as vice president of global purchasing, responsible for all category management processes and procurement functions across direct and indirect purchasing areas, as well as supplier technical assistance.

Ted Cannis is appointed general manager of commercial vehicles for the U.S. and Canada, also reporting to Galhotra. In this newly created position, Cannis will bring together dedicated resources needed to drive the commercial vehicle business forward. This new business aligns functional areas to deliver holistic customer solutions and optimizes operations to improve alignment with potential partners. As leaders in the commercial vehicle space, the company is accelerating its plans to create solutions that help businesses run a better business. Cannis joins Hans Schep, general manager of commercial vehicles for Ford of Europe. With two accomplished commercial vehicle leaders in these key roles, Ford is better placed to help make customers’ businesses thrive.

Retired Col. Gil Gur Arie joins the company from a distinguished career in the Israeli Military Intelligence Corps as chief of global data insight and analytics, reporting to Farley. Gur Arie brings experience to Ford in big data and AI, information technology, digital-age human-machine aspects, and multi-domain large scale analytics. In this position, he will lead the Ford team through the digital revolution and develop Ford’s big-data and AI strategy in the coming years. Gur Arie will capitalize on the enterprise’s data sources and advanced analytics talent to find solutions and steer better decision making throughout the company. Ford also will drive efficiency and gain understanding from connected vehicles, amongst other modern capabilities, to better serve the customer and improve the company’s fitness.

Burt Jordan is appointed vice president of global purchasing operations, reporting to Hau Thai-Tang, chief product development and purchasing officer. In this role, Jordan is responsible for global purchasing operations, program delivery, purchasing strategy, and supply chain diversity to drive strategic transformation, growth, and efficiencies.

Stuart Taylor is appointed executive director of enterprise connectivity, reporting to Thai-Tang. In this newly created role, Taylor is responsible for developing and implementing a suite of connectivity solutions that will support all areas of our business. Alex Purdy joins the company as director of business operations, digital experience, and connectivity, reporting to Taylor. In this newly created role, Purdy will be responsible for delivering Ford’s connectivity product portfolio strategy. He was most recently director of Deere Labs at John Deere and brings to Ford a background in technology and connectivity products. This new consolidated organization will provide Ford’s internal and external customers with new digital experiences leveraging end to end connectivity.

“The creation of the enterprise connectivity organization provides seamless end-to-end ownership for connectivity between the vehicle, consumer, and infrastructure within Ford,” says Thai-Tang. “Establishing this new organization, along with these appointments, will help us accelerate the delivery of human-centered, connected experiences for our customers and realize our vision of delivering intelligent vehicles in an increasingly connected world.”

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