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Ford Shuffles Executives as New COO Reshapes Leadership Team

By John Rosevear – Apr 16, 2020 at 10:37AM

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Jim Farley just unveiled part of his plan for the automaker.

Ford Motor (F -3.60%) announced a series of executive shuffles on Thursday, as newly minted chief operating officer Jim Farley moved to realign his senior team.

Kumar Galhotra, president of Ford's North America unit, will take on an expanded role overseeing South America and the company's International Markets Group. Galhotra will have profit-and-loss responsibility over most of Ford's global regions outside of China, including a newly created commercial-vehicle unit in the U.S. and Canada. 

Galhotra, who previously led an overhaul of Ford's Lincoln luxury brand, will continue to report to Farley.

Galhotra is shown with a Lincoln Navigator SUV, on an auto-show stand.

Former Lincoln chief Kumar Galhotra will now lead most of Ford's businesses outside of China. Image source: Ford Motor.

Lisa Drake, currently vice president of global purchasing, will retain that role and add a new one as chief operating officer of Ford North America, reporting to Galhotra. Her task will be to bring "enhanced focus to product launches, warranty cost reduction and material cost improvements," the company said in a statement. 

Ford's 2019 results were hurt by high recall (or "warranty") costs and a problem-plagued launch of the all-new Explorer SUV. 

Ted Cannis, who led the Detroit-based "skunk works" that produced the battery-electric Mustang Mach-E, will lead the new commercial-vehicle business in the U.S. and Canada, reporting to Galhotra. Commercial vehicles, long a strength for the company, have become a priority under CEO Jim Hackett's global restructuring plan.

Ford also announced the hiring of Gil Gur Arie, who recently retired from Israel's Military Intelligence Corps with the rank of colonel. He will serve as chief of global data insight and analytics, reporting to Farley. Gur Arie will be charged with leading Ford's big-data and artificial-intelligence efforts, the company said.

All of the changes will be effective as of May 1.

John Rosevear owns shares of Ford. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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