Ford Motor Co. has elected William E. Kennard, former chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission and former U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, to the company’s board of directors.
“Bill has a wealth of experience, particularly in telecommunications, where he has spent years shaping policy and pioneering initiatives to improve the benefits of technology for consumers worldwide,” says Bill Ford, executive chairman of the Dearborn-based automaker. “As we accelerate our work in the areas of in-car connectivity and mobility, his unique perspective will help guide our strategy and Blueprint for Mobility forward.”
Kennard — chairman and co-founder of the asset management firm Velocitas Partners LLC, and a member of the private equity firm Staple Street Capital’s operating executive board — will serve on Ford’s nominating and governance committee, effective Jan. 1.
With the addition of Kennard comes the departure of Homer Neal, who was first elected to the board on Jan. 1, 1997. Since then, Neal has held positions including chairman of the sustainability committee, member of the nominating and governance committee, and member of the board of managers of Ford Global Technologies, a wholly owned entity that manages the company’s intellectual property.
Having reached mandatory retirement age, Neal is leaving the board before his term ends in May to focus on his increasing obligations as president-elect of the American Physical Society, as well as his work with the University of Michigan where he has served as chair of the physics department, vice president for research, interim president, and University Distinguished Professor.
“Homer’s research and development knowledge and deep technical skill have proven to be extremely valuable to us, especially in helping to strengthen our sustainability vision and strategy over the years,” Ford says. “We are grateful for his many contributions during his 18 years of service and we wish him all the best.”