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Ford Announces a Flurry of Executive Moves as Restructuring Continues

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Stephen Odell

Stephen Odell, executive vice president of Global Marketing, Sales, and Service, is retiring after 37 years with Ford

Ford last month announced a number of executive appointments as part of its ongoing restructuring process. Since Jim Hackett took over as CEO in May, the automaker has taken a number of steps to condense and restructure its organization, presumably a component of Hackett’s emphasis on “financial fitness.”

“As we develop our strategy to become the most trusted mobility company, designing smart vehicles for a smart world, we will continue to reshape the organization to deliver the most value for our customers and all of our stakeholders,” said Jim Hackett, president and CEO. “The changes we are announcing today will further align resources and improve efficiencies throughout our global markets and operations.  At the same time, I want to recognize the truly significant contributions of the senior leaders departing from Ford and thank them for their many years of service.”

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The appointments announced includes Kumar Galhotra being named group vice president of Lincoln and Chief Marketing Officer, adding to his role of vice president and president for the Lincoln brand. His appointment took effect November 1st, and will see him reporting to Jim Farley, executive vice president and president, Global Markets.

37-year Ford vet Stephen Odell has announced his decision to retire from the position of executive vice president of Global Marketing, Sales, and Service. His replacement was not immediately named.

“Stephen has made significant contributions to Ford, including laying the groundwork for our turnaround in Europe and positioning us for success as we continue to create a world-class global marketing and sales organization,” said Hackett. “In addition, he has mentored and helped develop many of our next generation of leaders. We appreciate his many years of service and wish him well in the future.”

Also retiring is Bennie Fowler, who leaves the position of group vice president, Quality and New Model Launch. His replacement is Linda Cash, who has been a part of Ford’s Manufacturing team since 1984 and is the current vice president of Manufacturing for Ford of Europe. That role will be filled by Dale Wishnousky, who is also named a company officer.

Birgit Behrendt was named Ford of Europe’s new vice president, Joint Ventures, Alliances, and Commercial Affairs. She is Ford’s highest ranking German national and the first German national female officer to serve for Ford of Europe. Her former role, vice president of Global Powertrain Purchasing and Global Purchasing Operations, is to be filled by Lisa Drake, who is also appointed a company officer.

In other executive moves, Group Vice President of Human Resources Felicia Fields is opting to retire after a 31-year career at Ford; Kiersten Robinson, executive director of Human Resources, Global Markets, is named the interim leader of Human Resources, effective November 1st; former Group Vice President of Global Strategy John Casesa elects to leave the company, effective November 1st; and Joy Falotico, chairman and CEO of Ford Motor Credit Company and Ford Motor Company group vice president, reports directly to Hackett, also effective November 1st.

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