Title: Vice President, Product Development, Ford of Europe (Effective September 1, 2011)
Barb Samardzich is vice president, Product Development, Ford of Europe, effective September 1, 2011. Samardzich will report to Stephen Odell, chairman and CEO, Ford of Europe, and Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development, Ford Motor Company.
Prior to this assignment, Samardzich was vice president, Global Product Programs. She has held several key leadership roles in the product development organization. She served as vice president, Powertrain Engineering, responsible for engine and transmission engineering worldwide. Before that, she was vice president, Powertrain Operations. During her time as executive director, Small FWD and RWD Vehicles, she was responsible for the design, engineering and development of nine key Ford, Mercury and Lincoln vehicles, including the 2005 MY Mustang.
Samardzich also previously held a variety of positions in Powertrain Engineering, including chief engineer for Ford’s Automatic Transmission Operations. Her work in automatic transmissions and her experience in product creation won her the Women in Engineering Achievement Award from Design News in 2004.
During her career at Ford, Samardzich also served as chief engineer for the F-Series Super Duty Commercial Trucks, and as quality director for Ford Brand products in Ford of Europe.
Before joining Ford in 1990, Samardzich worked as a thermal design engineer in Westinghouse Electric’s Nuclear Fuels Division.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Florida, a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University and a master’s degree in engineering management from Wayne State University.
A multi-award winner, Samardzich was most recently named an Automotive News All-Star for 2009. Other past honors include acknowledgement as one of the Most Influential Women by Crain’s Detroit Business in 2007; winning the Distinguished Women Award from Northwood University in 2006; and being named a Leading Woman in the North American Automotive Industry by Automotive News in 2005 and 2010.
Samardzich also sits on the boards of several universities and non-profit organizations.
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Aug. 11, 2011