Ford Media Center

Ford Announces Changes to Automotive Operations to Further Accelerate Transformation Plan

  • Company taking series of actions to better serve customers, streamline decision-making and increase accountability
  • Strategic organizational moves focus on accelerating a winning portfolio, commercial vehicles as a business and implementing customer facing digital experiences across platforms
  • Data and AI play pivotal role in servicing company’s brands and customers particularly in Connected Vehicles and Enterprise Connectivity organizations
  • Kumar Galhotra named president, Americas & International Markets Group; Lisa Drake appointed chief operating officer, North America, continues as vice president, Global Purchasing

DEARBORN, Mich., April 16, 2020 – Ford Motor Company today announced both leadership and organizational changes to its global automotive operations to accelerate its Creating Tomorrow Together transformation plan.

The reorganization, the result of a 10-week deep dive led by Ford COO Jim Farley, is aimed at sharpening Ford’s focus on product and launch execution; fully leveraging smart, connected vehicles and big data to better serve customers; improving quality and lowering costs; and creating a dedicated commercial vehicle business in the U.S. and Canada.

“Under Jim Farley’s leadership, we are empowering a talented and diverse group of leaders – from inside and outside the company -- to continue to drive our transformation into a higher-growth, higher-margin business,” said Ford CEO Jim Hackett.

Added Farley:  “We are moving with a renewed sense of urgency to improve the fitness of the business and improve our launches, while at the same time modernizing Ford in a way that plays to our strengths. That means putting the right team of global leaders in place, streamlining the way we work, embracing the power of connectivity, data and AI, and turning our leadership in commercial vehicles into a dedicated growth business.”

Kumar Galhotra, 54, takes on an expanded role as president, Americas & International Markets Group, and continues to report to Farley. The North America, South America and International Markets Group business units will report to Galhotra. In this new role, Galhotra is responsible for the P&L of the business units including a newly established commercial vehicle business for the U.S. and Canada. Galhotra’s new organization will drive faster enterprise-wide decision-making and further efficiencies to better serve customers and adapt to changing market conditions.

Lyle Watters, 54, takes on an expanded role as president, South America & International Markets Group, reporting to Galhotra.

Mark Ovenden, 55, continues in his current role as president, International Markets Group. He will report to Watters.

Lisa Drake, 47, is named chief operating officer, North America, reporting to Galhotra. In this newly created role, Drake will bring enhanced focus to product launches, warranty cost reduction, and material cost improvements. Drake will help lead the push to return the North American business back to a 10 percent EBIT margin. With Drake’s deep operational knowledge, she will further accelerate the transformation of the North American business through cash conservation and profit actions. Drake continues as vice president, Global Purchasing, responsible for all category management processes and procurement functions across direct and indirect Purchasing areas, as well as supplier technical assistance.

Ted Cannis, 53, is appointed general manager, Commercial Vehicles, for the U.S. and Canada, also reporting to Galhotra. In this newly created position, Cannis will bring together dedicated resources needed to drive the Commercial Vehicle business forward. This new business aligns functional areas to deliver holistic customer solutions and optimizes operations to improve alignment with potential partners. As leaders in the commercial vehicle space, the company is accelerating its plans to create solutions that help businesses run a better business. Cannis joins Hans Schep, general manager, Commercial Vehicles, Ford of Europe. With two accomplished commercial vehicle leaders in these key roles, Ford is better placed to help make customers’ businesses thrive.

Retired Col. Gil Gur Arie, 44, joins the company from a distinguished career in the Israeli Military Intelligence Corps as chief data and analytics officer , reporting to Farley. Gur Arie brings vast and unique experience to Ford in big data and AI, information technology, digital-age human-machine aspects and multi-domain large scale analytics. In this position he will lead the Ford team through the digital revolution and develop Ford’s big-data and AI strategy in the coming years. Gur Arie will capitalize on the enterprise’s data sources and advance analytics talent to find solutions and steer better decision making throughout the company. Ford also will drive efficiency and gain understanding from connected vehicles, amongst other modern capabilities, to better serve the customer and improve the company’s fitness.

Burt Jordan, 53, is appointed vice president, Global Purchasing Operations, reporting to Hau Thai-Tang, chief product development and purchasing officer. In this role, Jordan is responsible for Global Purchasing Operations, program delivery, purchasing strategy and supply chain diversity to drive strategic transformation, growth and efficiencies.

Stuart Taylor, 48, is appointed executive director, Enterprise Connectivity, reporting to Thai-Tang. In this newly created role, Taylor is responsible for developing and implementing a suite of connectivity solutions that will support all areas of our business. Alex Purdy, 36, joins the company as director Business Operations, Digital Experience and Connectivity, reporting to Taylor. In this newly created role, Purdy will be responsible for delivering our connectivity product portfolio strategy. Purdy was most recently director of Deere Labs at John Deere and brings to Ford an extensive background in technology and connectivity products. This new consolidated organization will provide Ford’s internal and external customers with exciting new digital experiences leveraging end to end connectivity.

“The creation of the Enterprise Connectivity organization provides seamless end-to-end ownership for connectivity between the vehicle, consumer, and infrastructure within Ford,” said Thai-Tang. “Establishing this new organization, along with these appointments will help us accelerate the delivery of human-centered, connected experiences for our customers and realize our vision of delivering intelligent vehicles in an increasingly connected world.”

All the changes announced will be effective May 1, 2020.

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan, committed to helping build a better world, where every person is free to move and pursue their dreams.  The company’s Ford+ plan for growth and value creation combines existing strengths, new capabilities and always-on relationships with customers to enrich experiences for customers and deepen their loyalty.  Ford develops and delivers innovative, must-have Ford trucks, sport utility vehicles, commercial vans and cars and Lincoln luxury vehicles, along with connected services.  The company does that through three customer-centered business segments:  Ford Blue, engineering iconic gas-powered and hybrid vehicles; Ford Model e, inventing breakthrough EVs along with embedded software that defines exceptional digital experiences for all customers; and Ford Pro, helping commercial customers transform and expand their businesses with vehicles and services tailored to their needs.  Additionally, Ford provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company.  Ford employs about 177,000 people worldwide.  More information about the company and its products and services is available at

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