Ford Announces Senior Leadership Team Changes


After adding two board members this week, Ford announced Friday a series of leadership changes in the U.S. and European markets. The appointments and retirements are effective as of Nov. 1.

Ken Czubay, vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service, will retire after working for more than four decades in the automotive industry. His replacement, John Felice, who was named a company officer, is currently general sales manager for Ford and Lincoln. Felice will report to Joe Hinrichs, executive vice president and president of The Americas, and Jim Farley, executive vice president, Global Sales, Marketing and Service and Lincoln. Felice will be the senior leader for U.S. marketing, sales, and service for Ford and Lincoln. During his nearly 30-year career, Felice has served in a variety of senior marketing and sales positions in the U.S. and Asia, including as president of Ford’s Thailand Operations.

Czubay began his career at Ford in 1970 and served in a variety of management and executive roles at the company for 13 years. In 1983, he left Ford to join Nissan North America and later Southeast Toyota Distributors. He rejoined Ford in 2008 as the company’s leader for U.S. marketing, sales, dealer, and service operations.

“Ken is one of the top sales and marketing executives in the auto industry,” Hinrichs said. “His knowledge, passion, and strong relationships with our dealers have enabled Ford to capture increased market share and enhance the customer experience.”

Ford also appointed Barb Samardzich as COO of Ford of Europe. She will be responsible for manufacturing, quality, product development, purchasing, and sustainability, environment, and safety engineering. Samardzich will continue to report to Stephen Odell, executive vice president and president of Europe, Middle East, and Africa. Samardzich currently is vice president of product development at Ford of Europe, where she oversees product programs and operations in the region.

Succeeding Samardzich is Joe Bakaj, currently vice president of powertrain engineering as well as overseeing all engine and transmission engineering around the world. In his new role, Bakaj will report to Samardzich and to Raj Nair, group vice president, global product development.

In addition, Bob Fascetti was elected a company officer and succeeds Bakaj as vice president of powertrain engineering. He will report to Nair. In his current role as director of global engine engineering, Fascetti leads the engineering operations for all of Ford’s engine development worldwide. During his 25-year career, he has served in a variety of senior leadership positions in Ford’s powertrain, product development, and manufacturing operations.

In other news, Ford debuted the Mondeo Vignale for the European market during this week’s Frankfurt Motor Show. The Vignale is an upscale version of the automaker’s midsize model line — which is sold in the U.S. as the Ford Fusion — placing it above the Mondeo Titanium.