Ford Motor Co. is giving one of its outside directors a new title, vice chairman.
Jon Huntsman, who is described as a “vital” member of Ford’s board of directors, joins the company in a senior advisory position, the company said. Company directors Wednesday approved the appointment of Huntsman as vice chair, Policy, effective May 3.
He will advise Jim Farley, Ford’s president and CEO, and Executive Chair Bill Ford as the company considers and implements strategic policy choices during a period of profound industry change, including the transition to zero-emission battery electric vehicles, the company’s statement on Huntsman’s new role said.
Huntsman will remain on Ford’s board of directors, the automaker said.
Tasks for new role
In his new role, Huntsman will work closely with company teams across a range of disciplines, especially Government Relations; the Office of the General Counsel; and Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering. He will represent Ford with certain government officials and influencers in the United States and other countries around the world, Ford said.
“Global policy is hugely important to transforming Ford and unlocking great value for customers and all stakeholders,” said Farley.
“Jon’s background, insights and achievements are unrivaled — as an ambassador and trade representative, a state governor and a public-company executive.”
Farley added that Huntsman is highly regarded by government, NGO and business leaders worldwide, including on both sides of the aisle in Washington, D.C.
Huntsman was first elected to Ford’s board of directors in 2012, after serving as the U.S. Ambassador to the Peoples Republic of China during the Obama administration.
He resigned in September 2017 to become U.S. ambassador to Russia under President Donald Trump, Huntsman returned to the Ford board of directors in October of 2020 and is standing for re-election at the annual shareholders meeting on May 13.
He also served as ambassador to Singapore in the early 1990s under Presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush. In a series of trade assignments, including two years as deputy U.S. trade representative under President George W. Bush, Huntsman negotiated dozens of trade and investment agreements in Asia Pacific and Africa.
Huntsman also was the Republican governor of Utah from January 2005 to August 2009. Earlier, he was an executive of Huntsman Corp., an innovative global chemicals company. Huntsman is also a member of the Chevron board of directors. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in International Politics.