Ford announces operational, leadership changes

DUBAI, UAE – Ford is continuing to streamline and transform its global business, making changes in how the company is organised and operates to deliver executional excellence that benefits customers and delivers sustained profitable growth.

Jim Farley succeeded Jim Hackett as Ford’s President and CEO on October 4, outlined key goals and organisational changes during a virtual town hall meeting with the company’s global team.

Farley said Ford plans to move with urgency to turn around its automotive operations – improving quality, reducing costs and accelerating the restructuring of underperforming businesses.

Ford will grow by allocating more capital, resources and talent to its strongest businesses and vehicle franchises, expanding its leading commercial vehicle business with a suite of software services that drive loyalty and recurring revenue streams, offering compelling, uniquely Ford fully electric vehicles at scale around the world, including Transit, F-Series, Mustang, SUVs and Lincoln, adding more affordable vehicles to its global line-up, including in North America and standing up new customer-facing businesses enabled by Argo AI’s world-class self-driving system, a press release from Ford stated.

Ford is making changes to its operating model to help deliver on these priorities, including: Concentrating decision-making and accountability around product and customer groups in three regional business units – The Americas and International Markets; Europe; and China, accelerating innovation to be a leader in new businesses such as autonomous vehicles and mobility, harnessing expertise in industrial platforms to develop world-class connected vehicles, unleashing technology and software in ways that set Ford apart from competitors, and embracing and increasing the diversity of backgrounds, experiences and talent across the company, the statement added.

Farley said the company is targetting consistent operating performance that includes adjusted earnings before interest and taxes of eight per cent of revenue with strong automotive adjusted free cash flow, so the company can fully invest in customers  and growth.

Ford also announced key leadership changes. John Lawler, 54, appointed CFO will oversee the Finance and Ford Motor Credit organisations. Lawler will succeed Tim Stone, who has accepted a position as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer at ASAPP Inc, a research-driven, artificial-intelligence software company. Stone will remain with Ford through October 15 to ensure a smooth transition.

Lawler has most recently been serving as CEO of Ford Autonomous Vehicles and vice president, Mobility Partnerships, and spent much of his 30 years at Ford in finance leadership and general management. He served as President of Ford China for nearly four years when the company achieved record in-country performance. He also served as corporate controller and CFO, Global Markets and head of worldwide strategy.

Lawler’s successor in his current position, who will oversee the New Businesses group going forward, will be named later.

Ford’s Chief Information Officer Jeff Lemmer will retire on January 1 after 33 years with the company. A successor for Lemmer as CIO, who will lead the Technology and Software platform, will be announced in the near future.

Ford will strengthen its commitment to two key areas by having separate senior leaders run the Lincoln Motor Company and Global Marketing.

Joy Falotico, 53, who has been President of Lincoln and Ford’s Chief Marketing Officer for nearly three years, will be dedicated solely to further growing Ford’s luxury brand once a new chief marketing officer is named shortly. She will report to President, The Americas and International Markets Kumar Galhotra.

Separately, in Europe, Vice President, Manufacturing, Ford of Europe Dale Wishnousky, 57, will retire at the end of the year. His career with the company started in 1987 and spanned key manufacturing and service leadership roles in multiple countries. Kieran Cahill, 53, previously Director, Manufacturing and Strategic Projects, Ford of Europe, succeeds Wishnousky, effective immediately.