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Ford Announces Senior Leadership Team Changes

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Ford Motor Company today is announcing a series of changes in its senior leadership team as it continues to deliver the company’s One Ford plan for profitable growth.

Jim Farley is appointed executive vice president and president of Europe, Middle East and Africa. In parallel, Stephen Odell is appointed executive vice president, Global Marketing, Sales and Service. Both will continue to report to Mark Fields, Ford president and chief executive officer.

“We are excited to see Jim and Stephen take on these new roles as they bring unique skills, experience and fresh perspectives to these critical positions,” said Fields. “These moves also underscore our commitment to develop our senior leaders through deep experience within both our business units and our global skill teams.”

Farley, 52, currently serves as executive vice president of Global Marketing, Sales & Service, a position to which he was appointed in 2007. In this role, Farley has led the company’s drive to connect more closely with customers through integrated global marketing, advertising, digital communications, brand development and research. He also was instrumental in leading the ongoing transformation of Lincoln, setting it on a path for growth as a world-class luxury brand and customer experience.

Before joining Ford, Farley was group vice president and general manager of Toyota Motor Corporation’s Lexus luxury division. He spent more than 10 years in Marketing, Sales and Service leadership positions at Toyota, serving in the United States and Europe, for the company’s Scion, Toyota and Lexus brands.

In his new role, Farley will be responsible for continuing to lead and accelerate Ford’s transformation in Europe, executing the One Ford plan to achieve profitable growth through an unprecedented focus on new products, a strong brand and increased cost efficiency. The move is subject to immigration approval.

“Jim has done an excellent job improving our brand image around the world,” said Fields. “Jim’s commitment and passion for building the Ford and Lincoln brands have enabled us to connect with customers in new and innovative ways. He will have an opportunity to apply that same passion to build on the success of our products today in Europe and grow our business in the Middle East and Africa regions.”

Odell, 59, has been leading the company’s European operations since 2010 and currently serves as executive vice president and president, Europe, Middle East and Africa. Odell has been instrumental in leading the development and implementation of Ford’s European transformation plan and the strategic development of the company’s Middle East and Africa operations.

In his new role leading the company’s Marketing, Sales and Service organization, Odell will be focused on continuing to build the Ford and Lincoln brands globally through innovative new digital communications and transforming the retail experience for customers.

During his 34-year career at Ford, Odell served as president and CEO of Volvo Car Corporation from 2008 to 2010 and led Marketing, Sales and Service at Ford of Europe and at Mazda Motor Corporation in Japan, where he was responsible for leading the successful “Zoom Zoom” marketing campaign for Mazda.

“Under Stephen’s leadership, our European transformation plan is well under way, and we are poised to profitably grow as the region emerges from a long downturn,” said Fields. “Stephen also was instrumental in turning around Volvo and Mazda by reinvigorating their product lines, improving their brands and addressing cost and capacity issues. He brings a wealth of global experience in marketing, sales and service to his new assignment.”

Retirements and New Leaders

Ford also is announcing that Nick Smither, group vice president and Chief Information Officer, has elected to retire after more than 34 years at Ford. Succeeding Smither will be Marcy Klevorn, who is elected a Ford Motor Company officer and named vice president and Chief Information Officer.

Throughout his career at Ford, Smither, 56, led the information technology services function for North America, South America, International Operations, the Premier Automotive Group and Mazda. Smither also oversaw the development and implementation of Product Development technology systems across the company. He was appointed to his current position in 2008.

“The integrated IT approach that Nick brought to our teams has helped Ford become a faster, more agile and more innovative company,” said Fields. “By leveraging our global scale and standardizing Ford’s technology blueprint across our regions, Nick has enabled the IT function to drive efficiencies in every area of the business. We are grateful for his passion and leadership during three decades with Ford and congratulate him on his retirement.”

Succeeding Smither is Marcy Klevorn, currently director, Office of the Chief Information Officer. She will report to Fields.

Klevorn, 55, will oversee the information technology services and strategy for all of the company’s operations globally. She has spent her 31-year career in Information Technology with Ford, serving in a variety of positions in The Americas, Ford of Europe and Ford Credit.

She currently is responsible for developing and driving Information Technology’s global strategy, security, governance, operating model and supplier management globally, as well as emerging technologies.

Robert Brown, vice president, Sustainability, Environment & Safety Engineering, also has elected to retire after more than 35 years at Ford. Succeeding Brown will be Kim Pittel, who is elected a Ford Motor Company officer and named vice president, Sustainability, Environment & Safety Engineering.

Appointed to his current role in 2012, Brown, 59, has been responsible for overseeing Ford’s sustainability strategy and environmental policy, while ensuring that the company meets or exceeds all safety and environmental regulations worldwide. He also has been leading the company’s safety strategy, promoting aggressive standardization of product technology that improves safety.

Since joining Ford as a compliance engineer in 1979, Brown has served in a variety of leadership positions, including Ford’s environmental regulatory manager in Washington D.C., assistant director of the company’s Automotive Safety Office and director of Vehicle Environmental Engineering.

“Robert has ensured that sustainability remains at the heart of our strategy and that we continue to take the practical steps needed to integrate sustainability into our business processes. Through his efforts, we have strengthened relationships across the industry to advance sustainability and safety,” said Fields. “We are grateful for Robert’s leadership, and we wish him the best in his retirement.”

Pittel, currently executive director, Global Supplier Technical Assistance, will succeed Brown and serve as the company’s top environment and safety officer. She will report to Fields.

In her new role, Pittel, 55, will be responsible for the continued development and implementation of the company’s global environment and safety strategy, policy and performance, and Ford’s Blueprint for Sustainability.

During her 29-year career at Ford, Pittel has served in a variety of positions in Manufacturing, Product Development, Quality and Purchasing. This broad experience will enable her to drive the company’s sustainability commitment and actions even deeper in all areas of the business. Most recently, Pittel was responsible for establishing product launch and supplier quality processes to improve vehicle quality.

All retirements and appointments are effective Jan. 1, 2015.

  • For biographical information and photos of Jim Farley, click here.
  • For biographical information and photos of Stephen Odell, click here.
  • For biographical information and photos of Nick Smither, click here.
  • For biographical information and photos of Marcy Klevorn, click here.
  • For biographical information and photos of Robert Brown, click here.
  • For biographical information and photos of Kim Pittel, click here.

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 189,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit

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