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Ford Announces Retirement of Steve Biegun and Bruce Hettle

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Steve Biegun and Bruce Hettle

Steve Biegun and Bruce Hettle will retire effective Aug. 31, and Oct. 1, respectively

Ford Motor Company on Thursday announced that two key executives will retire this year. Effective Aug. 31, Ford Vice President of International Government Affairs Steve Biegun will depart for a government position after a 14-year career with Ford. Thirty-two-year Ford veteran Bruce Hettle, the current group vice president of Manufacturing and Labor Affairs, will retire on Oct. 1.

“I want to recognize the truly significant contributions of Bruce and Steve and thank them for their many years of service,” said Jim Hackett, Ford president and CEO. “Both have played critical roles in the success of Ford Motor Company globally and have set the stage well as we continue to deliver the products and experiences to become the world’s most trusted company.”

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Steve Biegun

Biegun was introduced as a special representative to North Korea on Thursday

Per The Detroit News, Biegun is leaving Ford to accept a role as special representative to North Korea. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a torture advocate with a vast and troubling history of anti-LGBTQ tendencies and Islamophobia, introduced Biegun at the State Department on Thursday.

“I fully understand the importance of this job,” Biegun said. “The issues are tough, and they will be tough to resolve, but the president has created an opening and it’s one that we must take by seizing every possible opportunity to realize the vision for a peaceful future for the people of North Korea.”

Biegun’s replacement as the head of International Government Affairs is Michael Sheridan, who has been with Ford for 31 years. He will report to Ford Vice President of U.S. Government Relations Curt Magleby, who will head up Ford Government and Community Relations in the interim.

“Ford has built strong, constructive relationships around the world to support our business and under Michael’s leadership we have the opportunity to further build trust and cooperation as we expand our operations and services globally,” Magleby said.

Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson will replace Hettle effective his retirement in October

Hettle will be replaced by Gary Johnson, who has also been at Ford for 32 years and has served in roles including vice president of Manufacturing for both North America and Asia Pacific. Johnson’s new role consists of overseeing international logistics, labor affairs, and engineering for vehicle and powertrain manufacturing. He will report directly to Ford Executive Vice President and President of Global Operations Joe Hinrichs.

“Under Bruce’s leadership, Ford has achieved world-class levels of manufacturing excellence, and worked together with our labor partners to continuously improve quality and competitiveness,” Hinrichs said. “We’re fortunate to have someone of Gary’s global experience and deep knowledge to continue to raise the bar and lead us into a new era of innovation in manufacturing.”

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News Source: The Detroit News