Ford shuffles management team as new CEO takes helm
By Dee-Ann Durbin and Tom Krisher
DETROIT — Ford’s new CEO is shaking up the company’s senior management.
The Dearborn, Michigan, automaker named a new head of global product development Thursday, as well as new heads of its operations in North America, Europe and Asia.
Among the biggest changes is the rehiring of Sherif Marakby, a longtime Ford executive who was head of Uber’s global vehicle programs for a year until he quit that job last month. Marakby is returning to Ford to lead its efforts in self-driving and electric vehicles.
“The leadership changes we are announcing today across our global business are important as we foster even greater teamwork, accountability and nimble decision-making,” Ford CEO Jim Hackett said in a company release.
Hau Thai-Tang was named the head of global product development. Thai-Tang was most recently in charge of global purchasing at Ford Motor Co., and he will retain that role.
Ford’s former product development chief, Raj Nair, will become head of North American operations.
Dave Schoch, who leads Ford’s Asia Pacific operations, is retiring after 40 years with the company. He will be replaced by Peter Fleet, who previously led Ford’s marketing efforts in Asia.
Steven Armstrong will become president of Ford’s operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Armstrong replaces Jim Farley, who was promoted to head of Ford’s global markets earlier this week. Armstrong previously served as Ford’s chief operating officer in Europe.
Hackett and Ford’s Executive Chairman Bill Ford said earlier this week that the management changes are intended to help the company make big, strategic decisions more quickly. Outgoing CEO Mark Fields had 18 direct reports; Hackett has eight. Bill Ford will oversee government relations and communications, which are responsibilities Fields used to have.
“We have to empower the teams and we have to move fast, and we have to trust our people to move fast,” Bill Ford said earlier this week.
Ford shares dropped more than 1 percent to $10.81 in morning trading.