Ford Media Center

Bill Dirksen Retiring as Ford Labor Affairs VP, To Be Succeeded by Company’s Kevin Legel

DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 19, 2019Bill Dirksen, Ford Motor Company’s vice president of Labor Affairs for the past six years, has announced he will retire effective Dec. 1.

Dirksen’s decision to conclude his 35-year Ford career follows ratification of a new four-year labor contract by employees represented by the United Auto Workers.  More than 56 percent of ballots were cast in favor of the agreement in voting that ended last Friday.

Dirksen led Ford’s negotiating team and helped sustain a bargaining environment that was constructive and efficient throughout.  This contract was his second as the company’s top negotiator and the fifth overall for which he was in a senior role.

“Ford and the UAW have a great record of working collaboratively to make sure we are competitive and protecting good-paying U.S. manufacturing jobs,” said Joe Hinrichs, the company’s president of Automotive.  “Bill has been a big part of that process for 15 years and is highly respected on both sides of the table.”

Dirksen’s positions at Ford have included heading Human Resources for Ford Australia and, later, Ford Credit.  He became executive director, U.S. Labor Affairs, in 2007 before getting his most recent assignment in 2014.

Kevin Legel, who was Ford’s No. 2 during the just-completed contract cycle, will succeed Dirksen as vice president, Labor Affairs.  Since joining the company in 1993, Legel’s roles have taken him to Kansas City and other U.S. manufacturing locations, and to Shanghai for four years as part of Ford Asia Pacific.

Like Dirksen, Legel will report to both Gary Johnson, chief manufacturing and labor affairs officer, and Kiersten Robinson, chief human resources officer.


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