Ford makes leadership changes in Europe & South America

Michael Martinez
The Detroit News

Ford Motor Co. on Monday made leadership changes to its team in Europe and South America, and added another executive to its fledgling Smart Mobility LLC subsidiary.

Steven Armstrong

Barb Samardzich, vice president and chief operating officer of Ford of Europe will retire Oct. 1 and will be replaced by Steven Armstrong, currently the president of Ford South America.

The 57-year-old Samardzich has been COO of Europe since November 2013 and has worked at Ford for more than 26 years. She previously served as vice president of product development for Ford of Europe, and at officer level positions overseeing global product programs and powertrain engineering.

Barb Samardzich

“Barb’s leadership and expertise have been critical to the transformation of our Ford of Europe business into a vibrant and profitable organization,” Mark Fields, Ford president and CEO, said in a statement. “Over the course of her career, she was instrumental in developing our global powertrain lineup, along with guiding the design and engineering of many Ford vehicles including Mustang and F-Series Super Duty. We are grateful for her many contributions and strong leadership over the years.”

Armstrong will replace Samardzich Sept. 1. He will report to Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president and president, Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Lyle Watters will replace Armstrong as president of Ford South America effective Aug. 1. He’ll report to Joe Hinrichs, Ford executive vice president and president, The Americas.

Lyle Watters

Watters has been chief financial officer and vice president, Finance & Strategic Planning, Ford of Europe. He also has been a member of the Ford Otosan board of directors since March 2012 and the Ford Sollers board of directors since April 2012. Prior to his service in Europe, he was chief financial officer for Ford South America.

Separately, Ford named Neil Schloss as chief financial officer of Ford Smart Mobility LLC, effective Aug. 1. The 57-year-old Schloss is currently Ford vice president and treasurer.

Schloss will report to Bob Shanks, Ford Motor Company chief financial officer, and Jim Hackett, chairman, Ford Smart Mobility LLC.

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