Ford has announced a number of senior management changes that, among other things, will give it a global sales, service and marketing czar, for the first time, and a new boss in Europe.
A one-time rising star at Toyota, 48-year-old Jim Farley has been serving a variety of marketing roles since moving to Michigan three years ago. He is currently group vice president of global marketing, while also running Ford’s operations in Canada, Mexico and South America.
In his new role, Farley drops operational responsibilities but he picks up the added duties of overseeing global sales and service. Effective August 1, it will be the first time a single executive has handled all three operations on a global basis.
At the same time, Eduardo Serrano, 50, will become executive director of all Ford Latin American operations. He is currently president and CEO of Ford of Mexico. Canadian operations will be handled by David Mondragon, currently president of Ford of Canada.
If there’s any significant surprise in today’s announcement, it’s that Stephen Odell will remain with Ford, taking over as chairman and CEO of Ford of Europe. Since October 2008, the British-born executive had been president of Volvo Cars, the Swedish marque Ford is selling to the Chinese.
As recently as this past spring, the 55-year-old Odell told TheDetroitBureau.com he would be willing to remain with Volvo after the sale “if” he were asked to do so by the new owner, Geely Automobile. After winning approval of European regulators, earlier this month, the deal is now moving towards completion.
“Stephen did an outstanding job leading Volvo back to profitability and has a strong record of delivering results for Ford of Europe,” said Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally. “We are thrilled that he will be returning to lead Ford of Europe to build upon the tremendous foundation of great products and profitable growth we have in the region.”
Odell rejoins Ford of Europe at a challenging time. The huge operation reported losing market share, this past month, though stressed that it is willing to take the hit to avoid having to match the huge incentives being offered by key European competitors.
Ford of Europe will be playing an increasing role on a global scale, going forward, as Mulally presses the implementation of his One Ford strategy. Development of key products, such as the next-generation Focus are being handled out of Europe, rather than following a traditional approach of developing regional models that may have little in common.
“These moves allow us to strengthen our global team as we accelerate our One Ford plan and continue to profitably grow serving our customers around the world,” said Mulally, in a prepared statement.
To make room for Odell’s return, Ford is trimming the responsibilities of 58-year-old John Fleming. He will yield control as Ford of Europe CEO but maintain his duties as Ford’s director of Global Manufacturing & Labor Affairs.
Fleming has been with Ford since 1967, and some sources suggest he may be preparing for retirement.
Tags: Alan Mulally, Geely, Jim Farley, John Fleming, Volvo sale, auto news, car news, ford news, ford of europe, geely buys volvo, paul a. eisenstein, paul eisenstein, stephen odell, thedetroitbureau, volvo