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Ford Makes Senior Leadership Changes; Also Moves To Streamline Executive Ranks


Ford Motor Company today announced several executive moves and title changes that will further strengthen the company’s senior leadership team and streamline its officer-level organizational structure.

Stephen Odell is named chief operating officer, Ford of Europe. Odell, 53, will report to John Fleming, president and CEO, Ford of Europe, and assume responsibility for Ford of Europe’s Product Development, Manufacturing, Purchasing, and Marketing, Sales and Service operations. Odell joined Ford in 1980 and has held key positions at Ford of Europe, Mazda and Jaguar. In his new role, Odell will accelerate the drive to reduce complexity and lead Ford of Europe’s growing role in developing global vehicle programs.

“Stephen has done an excellent job of reinvigorating our Marketing, Sales and Service functions since he returned to Ford of Europe,” Fleming said. “As we move into a more intensive phase of our global transformation, now is the right time to make more of Stephen’s extensive operational experience around the world. Giving him operational responsibility for Ford of Europe will help us raise our game as we take a prominent role in developing new vehicles globally.”

Ingvar Sviggum, 62, also has been elected a corporate officer and will replace Odell as vice president, Marketing, Sales and Service, Ford of Europe.

“I’m delighted that Ingvar will be stepping up to lead Marketing, Sales and Service for Ford of Europe. There is nobody better experienced,” Odell said. “He has shown great leadership in driving our recent, strong volume growth across Europe.”

Both appointments are effective on April 1.

In addition, Ford is announcing changes in the titles of certain corporate officer positions in an effort to streamline and clarify its senior-level organizational structure going forward. Under the new structure, corporate officers with global responsibilities who report directly to Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally will carry the title of group vice president. The move does not affect Ford’s executive vice presidents.

Effective April 1, five corporate officers will become group vice president. They are:

* Tony Brown, 52, previously senior vice president, Global Purchasing;
* Sue Cischke, 54, previously senior vice president, Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering;
* Bennie Fowler, 51, previously vice president, Quality;
* David Leitch, 47, previously senior vice president and General Counsel; and
* Nick Smither, 49, previously vice president and Chief Information Officer.

“The changes announced today will bolster an already top-notch leadership team at Ford Motor Company,” Mulally said. “At the same time that Ford of Europe is strengthening its operating leadership, we’re reducing management layers among our senior leaders with global responsibilities. This is a continuing part of our effort to reduce complexity and streamline our internal processes.”

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles in 200 markets across six continents. With about 245,000 employees and about 100 plants worldwide, the company’s core and affiliated automotive brands include Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo and Mazda. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit


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