Ford Announces Senior Leadership Changes


As Dearborn’s Ford Motor Co. continues to redesign operations for long term success, the company has announced several global leadership changes.

“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 Jim Hackett, Ford’s president and CEO.

“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.”

As part of the moves, Kumar Galhorta was named group vice president of Lincoln and chief marketing officer, effective Nov. 1. He will report to Jim Farley, executive vice president and president of global markets. In this expanded position, Galhorta will continue to lead the transformation of Lincoln as a world-class luxury brand, a role he has held since Sept. 2014.

He will also lead the marketing function shifting investments toward product categories and developing more effective brand communications including digital services, emobility, and autonomy, supporting Ford’s smart vehicles in a smart world vision.

Stephen Odell, executive vice president of global marketing, sales, and service, has elected to retire, following 37 years at Ford. During his career, Odell led development and implementation of Ford’s European transformation plan, which emphasized profit growth through a focus on new products, a strong brand, and increased cost efficiency.  He also served six years with Mazda on three continents and as CEO of Volvo.

Ford is also announcing the following changes in global operations and Ford of Europe:

Linda Cash has been named vice president for quality and new model launch and will report to Joe Hinrichs, executive vice president and president of global operations. In this role, she is responsible for driving quality processes throughout the design and production of Ford vehicles, new model launches globally, and ensure alignment throughout business operations. Since joining Ford in 1984, Cash has spent her career in manufacturing and previously served as vice president of manufacturing for Ford of Europe based in Cologne, Germany.

Cash succeeds Bennie Folwer, group vice president for quality and new model launch, who has elected to retire. Fowler directly influenced the quality of Ford’s newest, current, and future model vehicles, launching more than 900 vehicles, 163 powertrain programs, and 19 plants globally.

Succeeding Cash is Dale Wishnousky, who was named vice president of manufacturing for Ford of Europe and a company officer. Based in Cologne, Wishnousky will report jointly to Stephen Armstrong, group vice president and president for Europe, Middle East, and Africa, and to Bruce Hettle, group vice president of manufacturing and labor affairs. Wishnousky previously served as director of the global manufacturing business office.

In Ford of Europe, Birgit Behrendt was named vice president of joint ventures, alliances, and commercial affairs. Appointed a corporate officer in 2013, Behrendt is the highest-earning German national and first German national female officer working for Ford of Europe. In this newly created position based in Cologne, she will be responsible for all joint ventures and alliances in Europe, including the development of new arrangements to support the company’s business growth. She will also be part of the leadership team responsible for driving the region’s strategic initiatives.

Behrendt will be succeeded by Lisa Drake, who was named vice president for global powertrain purchasing and global purchasing operations. She was also appointed a company officer and will be responsible for all powertrain purchasing operations worldwide, as well as global purchasing performance.

Felicia Fields, group president of human resources, has also elected to retire after more than 30 years with the company. Appointed to her current position in 2008, Fields led the company’s efforts in talent management, workforce planning, organizational development, recruiting, and leadership development. Kiersten Robinson, executive director of human resources and global markets will serve as Ford’s interim human resources director effective Nov. 1.

John Casesa, group vice president for global strategy, has also elected to leave the company, effective Nov. 1 as the company realigns the global strategy function. During his tenure at Ford, Casesa led efforts to develop the global strategy team and processes to align the company’s business unit and skill team globally.

As the Ford also redesigns the organization and grows Ford Credit, Joy Falotico, chairman and CEO of Ford Mtoro Credit Co. and group vice president of Ford, will now report to Hackett, effective Nov. 1. Ford Credit will play an increasingly significant role in the company’s business strategy by identifying revenue-generating financing opportunities and mobility business models.

All appointments are effective Jan. 1, 2018 unless otherwise noted.

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